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in the eastern waters, and the clouds of the dying storm were rolling off in broken masses to the northward and westward, like the flying columns of a beaten army.
I have been in many a gale of wind, and have passed through scenes of great danger; but never, before nor since, have I experienced an hour so terrific as that when the Constitution was labouring, with the lives of five hundred men hanging on a single small iron bolt, to weather Scilly, on the night of the 11th of May, 1835.
During the gale, Mrs. Livingston inquired of the captain, if we were not in great danger? to which he replied, as soon as we had passed Scilly, "You are as safe as you would be in the aisle of a church." It is a singular fact that the frigate Boston, Captain M'Neal, about the close of the revolution, escaped a similar danger while employed in carrying out to France Chancellor Livingston, a relative of Edward's, and also minister to the court of St. Cloud. He likewise had his wife on board, and while the vessel was weathering a lee shore, Mrs. Livingston asked the captain-a rough but gallant old fire-eater-if they were not in great danger to which he replied, "You had better, madam, get down upon your knees, and pray to your God to forgive you your numerous sins; for, if we don't carry by this point, we shall all be in perdition in five minutes."
A DUTCH AFRICAN FARM.
THE following account of a frontier farm, belonging to one of the old Dutch settlers at the Cape of Good Hope, is taken from a work entitled " African Sketches," one of the valuable relics left to us by Mr. Thomas Pringle, a man whose virtues and talents have made his loss regretted by all who knew him; and in his situation as secretary to the Anti-Slavery Society, his circle of acquaintance was extensive. His sketches are the result of his observations during a residence of some continuance at the Cape, whither he had proceeded with a purpose of permanently establishing himself; a design frustrated by a misunderstanding with the Governor.
"On riding up to the place, which consisted of three or four thatched houses, and a few reed cabins (hartebeest-huisjes), inhabited by the Hottentot dependants, we were encountered by a host of some twenty or thirty dogs, which had been lying about in the shade of the huts, and now started up around us, openmouthed, with a prodigious clamour, as is generally the case at every farm-house on the approach of strangers. In day-light, these growling guardians usually confine themselves to a mere noisy demonstration; but at night, it is often a matter of no small peril to approach a farm-house; for many of these animals are both fierce and powerful, and will not hesitate to attack a stranger, if, in their eyes, he has the ill luck to appear in any way suspicious. The barking of the dogs brought out Arend Coetzer, one of the farmer's sons, from the principal dwelling-house, a frank young fellow, who had previously visited us at Glen-Lynden. Seeing us thus beset, he came instantly to our help against the canine rabble, whom he discomfited with great vigour, by hurling at them a few of the half-gnawed bones and bullocks' horns which were lying in profusion about the place. The young boor was rejoiced to see me, and introduced me to his mother and sisters,-a quiet. looking matron and two bashful girls, who now appeared from the house. 'Wil Mynheer afzadel? (Will the gentleman unsaddle?') was the first inquiry. I readily agreed, intending, indeed, though it was still early in the afternoon, to spend the night at this place, with the view of becoming better acquainted with our rustic neigbours.
On entering the house, I found that the old boor had not yet risen from his afternoon nap, or siesta, a habit which is generally prevalent throughout the colony. He was not long, however, in making his appearance; and, after shaking hands with a sort of gruff heartiness, he took down a bottle of brandy from a shelf, and urged me to drink a dram (zoopje) with him, assuring me that it was good brandewyn, distilled by himself from his own peaches. I tasted the spirit, which was colourless, with something of the flavour of bad whiskey; but preferred regaling myself with a cup of tea, which had in the meanwhile been prepared and poured out for me by the respectable and active-looking dame. This 'teawater' is made by a decoction, rather than an infusion, of the Chinese leaf, and being diluted with a certain proportion of boiling water, without any admixture of milk or sugar, is offered to every visitor who may chance to arrive during the heat of the day. A small tin box, containing sugar-candy, is sometimes handed round with the 'tea-water,' from which each person
takes a little bit to keep in his mouth, and thus to sweeten, in frugal fashion, the beverage as he swallows it. During this refreshment, I carried on a tolerably fluent conversation in broken Dutch with my host and his huisvrouw; and gratified them not a little by communicating the most recent information I possessed of the state of European politics, respecting which old Coetzer was very inquisitive.
The domicile of my hospitable neighbours, in which we were thus seated, was not calculated to suggest any ideas of peculiar comfort to an Englishman. It was a house somewhat of the size and appearance of an old-fashioned Scotch barn. The walls were thick, and substantially built of strong adhesive clay; a material, which being well prepared or tempered, in the manner of mortar for brick-making, and raised in successive layers, soon acquires in this dry climate a great degree of hardness, and is considered scarcely inferior in durability to burnt brick. These walls, which were about nine feet high, and tolerably smooth and straight, had been plastered over within and without with a composition of sand and cowdung, and this being afterwards well white-washed with a sort of pipe-clay, or with lime made of burnt shells, the whole had a very clean and light appearance.
The roof was neatly thatched with a species of hard rushes, which are considered much more durable and less apt to catch fire than straw. There was no ceiling under the roof; but the rafters over-head were hung with a motley assemblage of several sorts of implements and provisions,-such as hunting apparatus, dried flesh of various kinds of game, large whips of rhinoceros and hippopotamus hide (termed sjamboks), leopard and lion skins, ostrich eggs and feathers, dried fruit, strings of onions, rolls of tobacco, bamboos for whip-handles, calabashes, and a variety of other articles. A large pile of fine home-made soap graced the top of a partition wall.
The house was divided into three apartments; the one in which we were seated (called the voorhuis) opened immediately from the open air, and is the apartment in which the family always sit, eat, and receive visitors. A private room (slaapkamer) was formed at either end of this hall, by cross partitions of the same height and construction as the outer walls. The floor, which, though only of clay, appeared uncommonly smooth and hard, I found, on inquiry, had been formed of ant-heaps, which, being pounded into dust, and then watered and well stamped, assume a consistency of great tenacity. In making these floors, however, care must be taken to use only such ant-hills as have been broken up and plundered by the aardvark, or ant-eater, and consequently deserted by the surviving insects: otherwise, in spite of all your pounding, you may find that you have planted two or three troublesome colonies beneath your feet. This floor is carefully washed over every morning with water mixed with fresh cow-dung, in order to keep it cool and free from vermin, especially fleas, which are apt to become an intolerable pest in such mansions.
The house was lighted by four square windows in front,-one in each of the bed-rooms, and two in the voorhuis, and also by the door, which appeared to be shut only during the night. The door consisted of reeds rudely fastened on a wicker frame, and was fixed to the door-posts by thongs of bullocks' hide. The windows were without glass, and were closed at night, each with an untanned quagga skin. There was neither stove nor chimney in any part of the dwelling-house, but the operations of cooking were performed in a small circular hut of clay and reeds, which stood in front of it. The furniture of the sitting-room consisted of a couple of wooden tables, and a few chairs, stools, and wagonchests; an immense churn, into which all the milk saved from the sucking calves was daily poured, and churned every morning; a large iron pot for boiling soap; two or three wooden pitchers, hooped with brass, and very brightly scoured; a cupboard, exhibiting the family service of wooden bowls and trenchers, pewter turcens, brandy flasks, with a good array in phials of Dutch quack medicines. A tea-vase, and brass tea-kettle heated by a chafingdish,-which, with a set of Dutch teacups, and a large brassclasped Dutch Bible, occupied a small table at which the mistress of the house presided,—completed the inventory. The bed-rooms, in which I more than once slept on future occasions, were furnished each with one or more large bedsteads or stretchers, without posts or curtains, but provided with good feather-beds, spread on elastic frames woven with thongs of bullock's hide, like a cane-bottomed chair.
In a corner of the hall, part of the carcase of a sheep was suspended from a beam; and I was informed that two sheep, and sometimes more, were daily slaughtered for family consumption; the Hottentot herdsmen and their families, as well as the farmer's
own household, being chiefly fed upon mutton,-at least during summer, when beef could not be properly cured. The carcases were hung up in this place, it appeared, chiefly to prevent waste by being constantly under the eye of the mistress, who, in this country, instead of the ancient Saxon title of giver of bread,' might be appropriately called the 'giver of flesh.' Flesh, and not bread, is here the staff of life; and the frontier colonists think it no more odd to have a sheep hanging in the voorhuis, than a farmer's wife in England would do to have the large household loaf placed for ready distribution on her hall-table. At this very period, in fact, a pound of wheaten bread in this quarter of the colony was three or four times the value of a pound of animal food.
In regard to dress, there was nothing very peculiar to remark. That of the females, though in some respects more slovenly, resembled a good deal the costume of the rustic classes in England thirty or forty years ago. The men wore long loose trowsers of sheep or goat skin, tanned by their servants, and made in the family. A check shirt, a jacket of coarse frieze or cotton, according to the weather, and a broad-brimmed white hat, completed the costume. Shoes and stockings appeared not to be considered essential articles of dress for either sex, and were, I found, seldom worn except when they went to church, or to merry-makings (vrolykheids). A sort of sandals, however, are in common use, called veld schoenen (country shoes), the fashion of which was, I believe, originally borrowed from the Hottentots. They are made of raw bullock's hide, with an upper-leather of dressed sheep or goat-skin, much after the same mode as the brogues of the ancient Scottish Highlanders.
Having exhausted the usual topics of country chat, I suggested a walk round the premises, and we sallied forth, accompanied by old Wentzel and his son Arend. They led us first to the orchard, which was of considerable extent, and contained a variety of fruittrees, all in a thriving state. The peach-trees, which were now in blossom, were most numerous; but there were also abundance of apricot, almond, walnut, apple, pear, and plum trees, and whole avenues of figs and pomegranates. The outward hedge consisted of a tall hedge of quinces. There was also a fine lemon-grove, and a few young orange-trees., The latter require to be sheltered during the winter, until they have attained considerable size,-the frost being apt to blight them in this upland valley. All the other fruits are raised with ease; peach-trees often bearing fruit the third year after the seeds are put in the ground. From the want of care, however, or of skill in grafting, few of the fruits in this part of the colony are of superior sorts or of delicate flavour. The peaches especially are but indifferent; but, as they are chiefly grown for making brandy, or to be used in a dried state, excellence of flavour is but little regarded. Some mulberry-trees, which had been planted in front of the house, were large and flourishing, and produced, I was informed, abundance of fruit. These were not the wild or white mulberry, raised in Europe for feeding silk. worms; but the latter sort also thrive extremely well in most parts of the colony.
The kitchen garden was very deficient in neatness, but contained a variety of useful vegetables. Onions were raised in great abundance, and of a quality fully equal to those of Spain. Pumpkins, cucumbers, musk and water melons, were cultivated in considerable quantities. The sweet potato was also grown here.
Adjoining to the garden and orchard was a small but well-kept vineyard, from which a large produce of very fine grapes is obtained; but these, as well as the peaches, are chiefly distilled into brandy.
The whole of the orchard, vineyard, and garden-ground, together with about twenty acres of corn-land adjoining, were irrigated by the waters of a small mountain-rill, which were collected and led down in front of the house by an artificial canal. This limited extent was the whole that could be cultivated on a farm comprising about six thousand acres. But this is quite sufficient for the wants of a large family; the real wealth of the farm, so far as respects marketable commodities, consisting in the flocks and herds raised on its extensive pastures. This old Wentzel himself hinted, as, shutting up a gap in the garden-hedge with a branch of thorny mimosa, he led us out towards the kraals, or cattle-folds, exclaiming, in a tone of jocund gratulation, while he pointed to a distant cloud of dust moving up the valley- Maar daar koomt myn vee -de beste tuin!' ('But there come my cattle-the best garden!') On approaching the cattle-kraals, I was struck by the great height of the principal fold, which was elevated fifteen or twenty feet above the level of the adjoining plain; and my surprise was certainly not diminished when I found that the mound on the top of
which the pen was constructed, consisted of a mass of hard solid dung, accumulated by the cattle of the farm being folded for a succession of years on the same spot. The sheep-folds, though not quite so elevated, and under the lee, as it were, of the bullockkraal, were also fixed on the top of similar accumulations. The several folds (for those of the sheep and goats consisted of three divisions) were all fenced in with branches of the thorny mimosa, which formed a sort of rampart around the margin of the mounds of dung, and were carefully placed with their prickly sides outwards, on purpose to render the inclosures more secure from the nocturnal assaults of the hyænas, leopards, and jackals. Against all these ravenous animals the oxen are, indeed, quite able to defend themselves; but the hyænas and leopards are very destructive to calves, foals, sheep, and goats, when they can break in upon them, which they sometimes do in spite of the numerous watchdogs kept for their protection; and the cunning jackal is not less destructive to the young lambs and kids.
While we were conversing on these topics, the clouds of dust which I had observed approaching from three different quarters, came nearer, and I perceived that they were raised by two numerous flocks of sheep and one large herd of cattle. First came the wethers, which are reared for the market, and are often driven by the butchers' servants even to Cape Town, seven hundred miles distant. These being placed in their proper fold, the flock of ewes, ewe-goats, and lambs, was next driven in, and carefully penned in another; those having young ones of tender age being kept separate. And, finally, the cattle-herd came rushing on pellmell, and spontaneo 1sly assumed their station upon the summit of their guarded mount; the milch-cows only being separated, in order to be tied up to stakes within a small inclosure nearer the houses, where they were milked by the Hottentot herdsmen, after their calves, which were kept at home, had been permitted to suck for a certain period. Not one of those cows, I was told, would allow herself to be milked until her calf had first been put to her: if the calf dies, of course there is an end of her milk for that season. About thirty cows were milked; but the quantity obtained from them was scarcely so much as would be got from eight or ten good English cows.
The farmer and his wife, with all their sons, daughters, daughtersin-law, and grand-children, who were about the place, were assiduously occupied, while the herds and flocks were folding, in examining them as they passed in, and in walking through among them afterwards, to see that all was right. I was assured that, though they do not very frequently count them, they can discover at once if any individual ox is missing, or if any accident has happened among the flocks from beasts of prey or otherwise. This faculty, though the result doubtless of peculiar habits of attention, is certainly very remarkable; for the herd of cattle at this place amounted altogether to nearly 700 head, and the sheep and goats to about 5000. This is considered a very respectable, but by no means an extraordinary stock for a Tarka grazier.
Every individual of an African farmer's family, including even the child at the breast, has an interest in the welfare of the flocks and herds. It is their custom, as soon as a child is born, to set apart for it a certain number of the young live stock, which increase as the child grows up; and which, having a particular mark regularly affixed to them, form, when the owner arrives at adult age, a stock sufficient to be considered a respectable dowry for a prosperous farmer's daughter, or to enable a young man, though he may not possess a single dollar of cash, to begin the world respectably as a Vee Boer, or grazier "
ORIGIN OF PORTSOKEN Ward.
BEFORE the Norman Conquest, there existed a certain guild or body of knights, denominated, in Anglo-Saxon, the Cnihtenagild, and who possessed a plot of land just within the gate of the city, and thence called the Port-soken,-their holding being of that description called a soke, involving important privileges. These knights retained their jurisdiction, as well as their land, in, and through, and after the great changes consequent upon the Norman invasion, until some time in the reign of Henry I., when they bestowed their territory upon the neighbouring convent of the Holy Trinity. By virtue of the transfer, the prior of the convent acquired the rank of an alderman of the city. The demesne of the fraternity became, and still is, the well-known Portsoken Ward; whilst the name of Nightingale-lane, into which the denomination of the "Cnihtena-gild land" has passed by colloquial alteration, yet preserves a memorial of the ancient owners of the soil.
Truths and Fictions of the Middle Ages.
NATURE AND ART.
There is no mystery in the mental faculties of mankind: fancy, imagination, sentiment, passion, acuteness, judgment, reason, memory, are all positive, and capable of being discriminated and measured: they are not to be admitted or denied as temper or fashion may dictate. They do not depend on a little more or less of management, or a little more or less of care or chicanery. Genius and talent pervade all, in spite of negligence, rapidity, and defying artlessness; and deficiency will pervade all, in spite of finesse, and labour, and contrivance, and false ornament.-Sir E. Brydges.
IDEAS FROM COLERIDGE.
A rogue is a round-about fool: a fool in circumbendibus.
The earth, with its scarred face, is the symbol of the past; the air and heaven, of futurity.
You may depend upon it, that a slight contrast of character is very material to happiness in marriage.
How did the atheist get his idea of the God whom he denies?
Every true science bears necessarily within itself the germ of a cognate profession, and the more you can elevate trades into professions the better. Truth is a good dog; but beware of barking too close to the heels of an error, lest you get your brains kicked out.-Coleridge, Table-Talk.
SABINUS AND HIS DOG.
After the execution of Sabinus, the Roman general, who suffered death for his attachment to the family of Germanicus, his body was exposed to the public, upon the precipice of the Gemoniæ, as a warning to all who should dare to defend the fallen house. No relative had courage to approach the corpse; one friend only remained true-his faithful dog. For three days the animal continued to watch the body: his pathetic howlings awakened the sympathy of every heart. Food was brought to him, which he was kindly encouraged to eat; but, on taking the bread, instead of obeying the impulse of hunger, he fondly laid it on his master's mouth, and renewed his lamentations. Days thus passed, nor did he for a moment quit his charge.
The body was at length thrown into the Tiber; and the generous and faithful creature, still unwilling that it should perish, leaped into the water after it, and, clasping the corpse between his paws, vainly endeavoured to preserve it from sinking; and only ceased his endeavours with his last breath, having ultimately perished in the stream.-Anecdotes of Animals.
A FINE CONTRAST IN A FINE PASSAGE.
A man is supposed to improve by going out into the world-by visiting London. Artificial man does; he extends with his sphere; but, alas! that sphere is microscopic: it is formed of minutiæ, and he surrenders his genuine vision to the artist, in order to embrace it in his ken. His bodily senses grow acute, even to barren and inhuman pruriency, while his mental become proportionally obtuse. The reverse is the Man of Mind: he who is placed in the sphere of nature and of God, might be a mock at Tattersall's and Brookes's, and a sneer at St. James's: he would certainly be swallowed alive by the first Pizarro that crossed him. But when he walks along the river of Amazons,-when he rests his eye on the unrivalled Andes,-when he measures the long and watered Savannah, or contemplates from a sudden promontory the distant, vast Pacific,-and feels himself a freeman in this vast theatre, and commanding each ready-produced fruit of this wilderness, and each progeny of this stream,-his exaltation is not less than imperial. He is as gentle, too, as he is great; his emotions of tenderness keep pace with his elevation of sentiment: for he says, "These were made by a good Being, who, unsought by me, placed me here to enjoy them." He becomes at once a child and a king. His mind is in himself; from hence he argues, and from hence he acts; and he argues unerringly, and acts magisterially. His mind in himself is also in his God, and therefore he loves, and therefore he soars.-From Notes upon the Hurricane, a Poem, by William Gilbert.
PHYSICAL ADVANTAGES OF BRITAIN.
The particular facilities of Britain are great,-greater, perhaps, than those of any other country; or they have, at least, been more generally developed. It possesses all the essentials for the furtherance of mechanical ingenuity, and the employment of manufacturing industry. Iron and coal, the two chief agents-the one in the formation of machinery, the other in its use, are found in abundant quantities beneath the soil, and often in such close contiguity that they are readily made to assist each other. Railways of Britain.
TRADERS IN PHILANTHROPY.
I have never known a trader in philanthropy who was not wrong in heart somewhere or other. Individuals so distinguished are usually unhappy in their family relations; men not benevolent or beneficent to individuals, but almost always hostile to them, yet lavishing money, and labour, and time on the race-the abstract notion. The cosmopolitism which does not spring out of and blossom upon the deep-rooted stem of nationality and patriotism is a spurious and rotten growth.-Coleridge.
BAMBOO AND BAMBOOZLE.
"I guess," said the philosophical supercargo, Jonathan Downing, when he wrote home from Canton to his uncle the Major, that there really be but two sorts of good government, in the nature of things: Bamboo, or the like, as in China; and Bamboozle, or the like, as in the old country: but we in the States use 'em both, and ours is the grandest government in the universe,-Bamboo for the niggers, and Bamboozle for ourselves." Truths and Fictions of the Middle Ages.
A FAITHFUL SHOCK-DOG.
In October, 1803, during the deluge with which the island of Madeira was visited, a remarkable circumstance happened near St. John's river. A maid-servant, in flying from one of the falling houses, dropped an infant from her arms, which was supposed to have perished. Next day, however, it was found, unhurt, on a dry piece of ground, along with a shock-dog. belonging to the same family. The dog was close by the child, and it is imagined that the child was kept alive by the warmth of the faithful animal's body.—Brown's Anecdotes of Dogs.
OUR IGNORANCE OF MENTAL PHENOMENA.
Pleasure and pain, hope and despair, hatred and affection, play as truly in the infant mind as they did in the mind of Shakspeare, who has been called the high-priest of the passions. But how absurd it is to affirm, that the child must, therefore, understand all the passions which it feels, as well as Shakspeare did, who has made himself immortal by exhibiting them in dramatic action! Nay, is it not quite certain that, after we have arrived at the age of maturity, and after we have received laboured instructions, and much practical knowledge of life, we often experience trains of thought, and complicated emotions, which we do not even understand, and are much less able to explain ?—Young's Lectures on Intellectual Philosophy.
AN ELEGANT COUPLE OF ABORIGINES.
Among the native inhabitants of the Yas district (Australia) was a pair of originals: the man was called Daraga, and his lady the "beautiful Kitty" of Yas. Neither of them had pretensions to beauty. The lady had ornamented her delicate form (for all the ladies are fond of adornments) with two opossum tails, pendent in a graceful manner from her greasy locks; pieces of tobacco-pipe, mingled with coloured beads, adorned her neck; an old, dirty, opossum-skin cloak was thrown over the shoulders; a bundle of indescribable rags around the waist; and a netbul or culy hanging behind (filled with a collection of " small deer," and other eatables, that would baffle all attempts at description,) completed the toilette of this angelic creature. Of her features I shall only say, they were not such as painters represent those of Venus; her mouth, for instance, was a prodigious aperture. The husband also had decorated the locks of his cranium with opossum tails, with the addition of grease and red ochre; a tuft of board ornamented his chin; and the colour of his hide was barely discernible, from the layers of mud and charcoal covering it: he wore a "spritsail yard" through his apology for a nose; the opossum-skin cloak covered his shoulders, and the belt of opossum-skin girded the loins; the pipe was his constant companion, as the love of tobacco among those who have intercourse with Europeans is unbounded, and no more acceptable present can be made to them. At meal-times, it was curious to observe the conduct of this interesting couple and the kangaroo dogs: it was evident that no good feeling subsisted between the parties: the dogs regarded the former with an expression of anger, and the opposite party looked both sulkily and anxiously at the canine species. The dogs appeared instinctively to fear that the human creatures would devour every morsel of the food, and that they should be minus their share; while the latter seemed to know, either by instinct or practical experience, that large dogs bite tolerably hard when angry.-Bennett's Wanderings in New South Wales.
It does not seem likely that steam can be applied to pleasure carriages; but improvements will most probably go on in the construction of steam carriages till they be perfectly available for common roads, as vehicles of locomotion, as a means of travelling more economically than with horses from one place to another. But to realise a profit from them, they must carry many passengers; they will do for public, but not for private vehicles. One advantage they will possess which common vehicles have not: in cold weather, they may be warmed by the steam-pipes, with the same facility as a house; and, in hot weather, they may be ventilated by fanners worked by the machinery.—Adams' English Pleasure Carriages.
CONTRAST BETWEEN CIVILISED AND SAVAGE LIFE. Everything that can contribute to teach the most unmoved patience under the severest pains and misfortunes, everything that tends to harden the heart and narrow all the sources of sympathy, is most sedulously inculcated on the savage. The civilised man, on the contrary, though he may be advised to bear evil with patience when it comes, is not instructed to be always expecting it. Other virtues are to be called into action besides fortitude. He is taught to feel for his neighbour, or even his enemy, in distress; to encourage and expand his social affections; and, in general, to enlarge the sphere of pleasurable emotions. The civilised man hopes to enjoy, the savage expects only to suffer.-Malthus.
PUBLISHED BY WILLIAM SMITH, 113, FLEET STREET.
SATURDAY, JUNE 22, 1839.
"If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth." "THE word Impossible is not French," said Napoleon to the Duke of Vicenza ; and at the time he said it-he had not entered Moscow-his career of unchecked success might have gone far to make himself a believer in his own proposition. The Imperial Victor well knew that a persuasion of its truth, among the people who then so blindly worshipped him, would almost make it true. In the career of discovery, among the conquerors of science, the same doctrine has produced effects quite as brilliant, and more enduring, than any that have resulted from those "imperial seas of slaughter." Often have we seen the faith that "hopeth all things" become the encourager under repeated failures, and the stimulant to labours which have terminated, after many days, in glorious success; and though we do not mean to adopt the maxim in its full extent, and assert that impossibility is not to be found in the philosophical dictionary, yet we have witnessed so many victories-we have so often written "Ne plus ultra" on our charts of discovery, and then seen some bold adventurer carry his researches far beyond our assigned boundary, that while we admit its existence, we cannot attempt to fix its position, but must class it among those bodies of whose place we know only that they are not nearer than a certain number of million leagues, at the same time being quite ignorant whether they are not some hundred times further.
As years elapse-as knowledge increases the point when impossibility commences appears more distant, and our trust in the infinite grasp of human intellect, our confidence in our powers of discovery, our pride in present possessions, and our hopes of future acquisitions, become more unbounded. We have passed that period when to be incredulous was to be learned; among a half-enlightened race only can that dogma be received: the extremes meet; the destitution and the perfection of knowledge are alike confiding and liberal. It is an imperfect creed which | engenders ascetics and encourages persecution. The ignorant worshipper raises his altar to "the unknown god; " the inspired teacher warns us that we "judge not." It is semi-barbarism that is subject to narrow-minded prejudice; it is the "little learning" that fosters conceit and incredulity. The savage has the most unlimited faith in mortal powers, in his acknowledged ignorance of their true extent: he believes in giants and in magic-in words that control the elements, and in sinews that can remove the mountains; the man of science comes back almost to the same confidence in human power to produce such results.
The first chemists, unacquainted with the methods of analysis, or with the composition of those substances on which they operated, were misled continually by deceptive appearances; yet still holding fast their faith in their mystery, still believing in the possibility of obtaining their long-sought elixir, they laboured on undismayed in spite of disappointment, and even of danger, when a false religion was arrayed against a false science, and anathemas were pronounced on the possessors of the philosopher's stone.
We owe them many thanks; they stumbled in the dark upon discoveries from which the world has reaped more benefit than any that could have sprung from the doubtful influence of their desired object if they had attained it; but without some such stimulant as that afforded by the hopes of obtaining boundless wealth and length of days, they would not have worked at all.
In like manner, it was the fallacious speculations of astrology, it was the craving desire felt by humanity to penetrate the mysteries of futurity—the fond belief that on the aspects and motions of the planets our fate depended, and by them could be predicted that first gave interest to the study of astronomy. These impulses first induced man to number the stars, to track the motions of the planets, to record eclipses, which have proved the best guides to modern chronologists in fixing the dates of longpast events, and to observe phenomena from which we have deduced the uniformity of the earth's rotation, and the inequalities of the lunar orbit. In short, here also we owe it to the ignorance and the credulity of past generations, that any foundations were laid of that science, which evinces, more than any other, at once the powers of man and his insignificance.
A wiser people were not so liberal; the superstitious men of Athens accused Anaximander of attempting to bind their gods by immutable laws; an impiety for which their sentence, rendered merciful by the interposition of Pericles, only condemned himself and family to perpetual exile. When light began again to dawn in Europe, after the long night of the dark ages, persecution rose with it, and the bigoted cruelty that imprisoned, but could not subdue, Roger Bacon; that pursued Galileo to the end of his life; and that induced the more timid Copernicus to withhold for years the publication of his grand but then supposed to be dangerous truths,-furnishes but additional proof how intolerant imperfect knowledge will render its possessors.
To those daring spirits who laboured on, unsubdued by the difficulties and undaunted at the perils that impeded their course, how great a veneration is due! The leaders of a forlorn hope, they paused not to consider the obstacles which obstructed their progress, but struggled fearlessly forwards, stimulated by the bright looks of that truth which the world could not see, and which themselves saw as yet but dimly in the distance; till at length "that surest touchstone of desert, success," rewarded their exertions, and mankind, henceforth, ranked among the best of their benefactors and instructors those whom they had stigmatised as visionaries and madmen. Their successors are still upon the earth ;-men to whom nothing is hopeless, nor anything incredible; men who perpetually enlarge the dominion of possibility, and teach us how distant is the limit of the attainable: and though their dangers and difficulties are less than those of their predecessors— though monks can no longer threaten them with dungeons, and much of the mechanical drudgery of science is found done to their hands,-neither in brilliancy nor in usefulness will their achievements be surpassed by those of any period of which history has preserved the record.
Bradbury and Evans, Printers, Whitefriars.
HISTORICAL researches have of late years been conducted in an infinitely more philosophic spirit than has heretofore been usually exercised. The historian is no longer satisfied with remoulding the works of his predecessors, and thus propagating errors in a novel dress, hashing up the absurdities of the ignorant, prejudiced, or designing, and seasoning the mess according to the supposed taste of the public palate. Facts are sought after, and disinterred from the storehouses of records and muniments, where they have too long lain buried and forgotten, and we reason upon the conclusions drawn from them, and not upon popular prejudices ignorantly adopted as historic truths. Thus, the fables consecrated by the authority of a Livy are dispelled by the antiquarian researches of a Niebuhr; whilst the venerable Herodotus, who has been presumptuously scoffed at as "the father of lies," is restored to his ancient honours, by the testimony of modern travellers and the labours of the Archæological Institute. In this spirit of philosophic inquiry, we find one of the most celebrated statesmen of the age, the learned Guizot, devoting himself to historical research, and investigating the character of the actors, as the surest method of gaining the true clue to the maze of seeming contradictions which perplex the superficial. We see the result in an essay, or, as he more properly designates it, "Historical Study," in which he Labours to clear up the doubts which shadowed the character of one whose name is inseparably connected with the restoration of the Stuart dynasty, a point of history of peculiar interest: we mean George Monk, a man whose share in public affairs, before and after that event, was not so great as to have preserved much more than his name in the historic page, but who was lifted to immortality by the tide of events which threw the destiny of an empire into his hands. His cautious taciturnity puzzled his cotemporaries, and his character has been represented by different biographers and historians in as many different colours as the chamelion, just according to the individual bias of the writer. This enigmatical character has been taken up by M. Guizot as a fit subject for investigation; and our purpose is to follow the record of his researches his historical studies, and in a brief sketch show what he has done, and the conclusion at which his inquiries have enabled him to arrive. The original, which was first published in the "Revue de Paris," has been ably translated by the Hon. J. Stuart Wortley, and enriched by him with many valuable
'Among the men," says M. Guizot, "who fill a place in the great scenes of history, the fate of Monk has been remarkable. At once both celebrated and obscure, he has linked his name with the restoration of the Stuarts, but has left us no other memorial of his life. One day he disposed singly, and with renown, of a throne and a people: on those which either precede or follow it, he is scarcely to be distinguished from the crowd with which he mingles. He is one of those whose talent, and even vices, have but a day or an hour for the development of their full energy and dominion; yet they are men whom it is most important to study; for the rapid drama wherein they took the leading part, and the even which it was in their sole power to accomplish, can be through them alone made thoroughly intelligible."
George Monk was born on the 6th December, 1608. He was the second son of Sir Thomas Monk, a Devonshire gentleman, of ancient family but impaired fortune. When George Monk was seventeen, King Charles I., who had just mounted the throne, visited Plymouth, to superintend the outfit of the expedition which he projected against Spain. On this occasion all the country gentlemen flocked to pay their court, and Sir Thomas among them; but having reason to fear an arrest from an unfriendly creditor, he sent his son George to bribe the sheriff. That worthy functionary accepted the fee, and faithfully promised that Sir Thomas should not be molested; but being afterwards doubly feed by the other side, he arrested him in the midst of a company of gentlemen, assembled to see the king pass by. Indignant at this treachery, young Monk hurried to Exeter, and handled the faithless man of law so roughly, that his life would have been endangered but for the interference of the neighbours. After this adventure, George Monk, fearful of the consequences, took refuge on board the fleet, just then ready to sail: his relation, Sir Richard Greenville, received him on board his ship, and Monk accompanied him on the cruise. The object of the expedition was to intercept the Spanish galleons, but it was not attended with
success, and soon returned to England. The next year, Monk exchanged the sea for the land service, and enlisted as an ensign in the ill-fated expedition against the isle of Rhé, and witnessed a second time the spectacle of shame and disaster which often signalises the presumptuous ignorance of a favourite. He retained a bitter recollection of it, which he often expressed in recounting the occurrences of his youth. We are therefore not surprised to see him abandon the service of his country, and embracing_the profession of a soldier of fortune, joining the regiment of the Earl of Oxford, in the Dutch service, in the year 1629; one year after the expedition to the isle of Rhé.
He remained ten years in the service of the States, where he acquired the reputation of an excellent officer, and was particularly distinguished by the ascendancy which he acquired over his companions, and the love which he inspired in his men; qualities which have ever been the characteristics of successful generals. A dispute with the magistrates of Dort, which was decided against him by the Prince of Orange, Frederick Henry, the Stadtholder, disgusted him with the Dutch service; and warlike symptoms being visible in England, Monk returned home, and entered the army which Charles was raising against the Scots. He was appointed lieutenant-colonel in the regiment of the Earl of Newport, general of the ordnance. The war was very unpopular; the first blows were delayed by public aversion; and, before blood had flowed, the treaty of Berwick proclaimed that the campaign was over, but without soothing the animosities which gave rise to it. The armies, dismissed in forty-eight hours by the terms of the treaty, remained ready to re-assemble on the first summons. The new explosion was not long delayed; and, on the 1st of August, 1640, Monk, at his post on the borders of Scotland, on the banks of the Tyne, took part in the affair of Newburn, where the English disgraced themselves by a precipitate flight. Monk, by his judicious conduct, saved them for the moment from some of its disastrous results. The Scots, after having passed the Tyne, almost without resistance, marched towards the quarters of the Earl of Newport, in order to possess themselves of the artillery. In the king's army, disorder had not waited for the enemy. Monk, still at the head of his regiment, had, for his own guns, but one ball and charge of powder. He made application for ammu. nition to major-general Astley, but was answered that there was no more; and upon this, placing his soldiers, armed with muskets, along the hedges, he imposed so well upon the Scots, that they did not venture to attack him, and allowed him to carry off the artillery to Newcastle, where, with the place itself, it soon after fell into their hands. Monk always used to express the utmost dissatisfaction at the whole conduct of this unfortunate campaign. maintained that the English army was fully equal to cope with and overcome the Scots, and advised the king to fight. His opinions were over-ruled, and a hasty treaty put an end to the war.
Affairs in England were every day assuming a more gloomy aspect. The Long Parliament was assembled; the quarrel grew more and more bitter, when the Irish insurrection (25th October, 1641,) chanced to present every Englishman with a cause to defend,-every soldier with a war to wage,-and that without engaging him with either party. Monk embraced the opportunity, and obtaining the appointment of colonel to the regiment of the Earl of Leicester, who succeeded to the government of Ireland, after the execution of Strafford, proceeded to Ireland. He there found divided counsels and neglected troops, for the disorders at home left little leisure for due attention to the Irish army; yet we are told "that there was not a soldier ever so sick or ill-shod who would not make an effort to follow George Monk,-a familiar appellation bestowed on him by the affection of the soldiers, always more disposed to obey when they have in a manner appropriated their commander to themselves, and when in their chief they recognise a comrade."
Leicester, who had remained in London, had delegated his authority to Ormond, a zealous royalist. Other members of the government were attached to the parliament. The contests of authority were frequent, and always determined at the pleasure of the party most powerful for the moment; in general, that of the king had the advantage. "The army, suspended between contrary interests and inclinations,-pressed at the same time by its necessities, its dangers, and its common enemies,-felt, in presence of the Irish, rather English than parliamentarian or royalist; and a lukewarmness of political opinion left great latitude to the chiefs in seeking to gain proselytes, and to the inferiors a large facility for maintaining a good understanding with both parties. Monk, skilful above them all, thenceforth commenced the attainment or the application of the art which he so constantly and dexterously