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MYTHOLOGY.

JANUS. For the Family Magazine.

Janus, the king of Latium, who hospitably received 8aturn after his expulsion from his own kingdom, was, it is said, endowed by his guest with such supernatural wisdom and power, that after his death he was regarded as a god, and received worship accordingly. e was represented as sitting on a throne at the portals of a gate, having two faces, and holding a rod in his left hand and a key in his right. Medals struck in his honour always bore the double face as their distinguishing characteristic. He was called by Virgil Bifrons, (double front,) and by Ovid Biceps, (double head.) Twelve altars, one for each month in the year, threw up the smoke of sacrifice around him.

His various names are descriptive of his actions or the qualities assigned him. He is called Janitor, because he keeps the gates, and, as the month of January is named for him, he opens the year. He is called Claviger, (the club-bearer,) because he holds in his left hand the club or rod which was his ensign of office; as guardian of roads, paths, or ways. Gates and doors in the Latin language were called janua. He is also called Junonius, because Juno having the government of the year, delegated it to him. He was called Patulacius and Clausius, (from Patulo to open, and Claudeo to shut,) because his temple was opened in time of war, and shut in time of peace. The consuls of Rome were inaugurated in the temple of Janus, and thus opened their year of office under the auspices of this divinity. The offerings dedicated to him were bread, corn, and wine: no frankincense was ever offered.

The reason of his being represented with two faces, is stated to have been on account of his great prudence, having had regard in all his transactions to the past as

well as the future—thus looking behind and before.— The moral attributes of Janus seem, however, to have been blended with those of his guest and benefactor, Saturn. He was admitted to the rank of a Roman divinity, when the Sabines or ancient inhabitants of Latium made a league with the Romans. Romulus and Tatius first founded his temple.

The most remarkable circumstance in connection with the mythology of Janus, was the custom of opening the brazen portals of his temple on the declaration of war, and of shutting it when the strife of arms had ceased. Virgil says,

“Has ubi certa sedet patribus sententia pugnac, Ipse Quirinali trabea cinctaque Gabino Insignis, reserat stridentia limina consul.”

Then, when the sacred Senate votes the wars, The Roman consul their decree declares, And in his robes the sounding gates unbars.

Thus the citizen of proud, imperial Rome, as he walked her streets, could tell by turning his eyes to the temple of Janus whether war was raging somewhere on the broad surface of the earth, or whether sweet peace, like a balmy gale from heaven, blew gently over the empire whose bounds were synonymous with a world. “Pause here ! the far off world at last Breathes free.” Yet, so warlike were the Roman people, that during the space of seven hundred years the temple of Janus was shut only three times. It was closed by Augustus after the battle of Actium, just before the birth of co,

NATURAL HISTORY.

We will once more resume this interesting department of knowledge.

Our investigation thus far in relation to mankind, has resulted in the conclusion that all are of one race. We have examined the theories of those who hold otherwise, and have found them to be absurd, extravagant, inconsistent, and contradictory. For while they make the trifling difference which obtains in the complexion and the cranium between the white man and the black an insurmountable barrier to their relationship, they find it a very easy matter to class them both with beasts and shell-fishes! On the other hand, we have found that their fancied chain from man downward is but a fancied one; that there is a radical difference, both physically and intellectually, between the human and the brute races; and that the stories respecting sylvan monsters retailed by these lovers of the marvellous, are but idle tales. We have seen, moreover, that the actual difference existing between the various classes of mankind is by no means equal to what occurs in many other cases; as for example in that of hornless oxen, broad-tailed sheep, solid-hoofed swine, &c. which are known to be of the same species with those of an ordinary description. We have further seen that there are causes amply adequate to the occasioning of the difference under consideration. The influence of climate, the effects of different kinds of food, of different manners and customs, and of a morbid and hereditary affection, all come in for a share in this respect. We need not here repeat the examples adduced in illustration of this, having already given them in the course of treating on the subject, on pages 73,74, and 81, to which the reader is referred. Suffice it in this place to say, that those who make the objection in question, evince either a gross ignorance of the operations of nature, or else a disposition to raise unfounded objections against theology.

But long enough have we dwelt on this topic. . We will take our leave of it by remarking, that Moses, in representing all mankind to be of one descent, has asserted nothing inconsistent with scientific and philosophical truth, but is in the most perfect accordance with both, Tn pursuing this branch of science, we come next in order to the subject of animal heat, which applies equally to man and brute. The article below in relation to this subject, we take from the Dublin Penny Journal. aoove another, and from the resemblance which some of them bear to large cheeses, the group obtained its name. It consists of eight stones, the uppermost of which was formerly a rocking stone; but part of it having been broken off, it is now immovable. The great weight of the upper part, and the slender bearing between the third and fourth stones, have made it a subject of much wonder that such a pile could have resisted the storms of so many ages.—Parley's Book of Curiosities. Now that we are on this subject, we will introduce to the notice of our readers, from the “Cabinet of Curiosities,” an account of several stones of a kindred description. PLINY tell us, that at Harpasa, a town of Asia, there was a rock of such a wondersul nature, that if touched with the finger it would shake, but could not be moved from its place with the whole force of the body. Ptolemy Hephestion mentions a stone near the ocean, which wās agitated when struck by the stalk of an asphodel, but could not be removed by a great exertion of force. In Britain, there are many stones of this description. In the parish of St. Leven, Cornwall, there is a promontory called Castle Treryn. On the western side of the middle group, near the top, lies a very large stone so evenly poised, that any hand may move it from one side to another; yet it is so fixed on its base, that no lever, nor any mechanical force, can remove it from its present situation. It is called the Logan Stone, and is at such a height from the ground, that no person can believe that it was raised to its present position by art. Other rocking stones are so shaped, and so situated, that there can be no doubt they were erected by human strength. Of this kind, Borlase thinks the great Quoit, or Karn-lehau, in the parish of Tywidneck, to be. It is thirty-nine feet in circumference, and four feet thick at a medium, and stands on a single pedestal. There is also a remarkable stone of the same kind in the Island of St. Agnes, in Scilly. It is poised on a mass of rock, which is ten feet six inches high, forty-seven feet round the middle, and touches the ground with no more than half its base. From this the rocking stone rises on one

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ANIMAL HEAT.

Among the numberless instances of the wondersul adaptation of man and animals to the various circumstances in which they may be placed, there is nothing more remarkable than the power with which they are endued of preserving a particular temperature or heat. By this power we are enabled to bear the extremes both of heat and cold without injury, at least for a time. For example: The heat of the human frame, as every one knows, is considerably higher than that of the bodies which commonly surround us; it is estimated at about 98 degrees of the thermometer, and this temperature it will preserve under a heat which would roast it, or a cold that would more than suffice to freeze it, if it were a dead and not a living substance. This wonderful power, then, is the result of life, and not of chemical composition. Even in vegetables we observe the same power from the fact, that the juices in the stems and branches are frozen with much greater difficulty than lifeless fluids. Ice has been found to thaw where roots shoot into it, and it is a common observation, that after a fall of snow, the thawing is first observed on the leaves or around the stems of trees. It is also sound that eggs are cooled and frozen with much more difficulty than equal masses of lifeless matter. Yet, after they are once frozen, and their life destroyed, they freeze with readiness; a clear proof that the power of resisting cold is owing to the principle of life within them. The most striking examples of the power of the living body to resist heat are recorded by Sir Joseph Banks, and Sir Charles Blagden. They remained for some time in rooms heated to the temperature of boiling water, yet the heat of their bodies was not increased, and the i. gentleman continued for eight minutes in an apartment heated to 260 degrees, or 48 degrees above the heat of boiling water, with scarcely any variation of the heat of the body. In these rooms, beef-stakes laid on a tin-plate were dressed in about half an hour, and if the hot air was impelled on them in a stream, the cooking was completed in thirteen minutes; and eggs were roasted hard in twenty minutes. But even a higher temperature than this has been borne by two French phijosophers, who remained without much inconvenience for five minutes, in a room heated to 78 degrees above the heat of boiling water. Some of the lower animals also are capable of bearing a high degree of heat—and indeed are intended for it —as the beetles which are found in the boiling springs of Albano, in Italy, and which die when thrown into cold water. If we examine the eggs of insects, we find that they are endued with a power of resisting great changes of temperature. Lice have appeared on clothes which had been placed in boiling water, and it is stated on the highest authority that boiling the honey comb will not destroy the eggs of the bees, while, on the other hand, it is found that an exposure to a cold of 24 degrees below zero, will not destroy the eggs of silk worms and butterflies. This wonderful property of living beings should excite our deepest admiration of that Omniscience which has planned the universe. By this, millions of beings are annually preserved to fill their place in creation which otherwise would be lost, and

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longer found, and the quicksilver frozen in the thermometer; or to carry civilization and commercial enterprize into the equatorial regions. The sublime idea, too, that the starry host are filled with beings made to feel and to enjoy, no matter whether we consider the burning Mercury, or the remote and frigid Georgium Sidus, near two thousand millions of miles from the Sun, derives no mean portion of its probability from this law of the ani mal economy.

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MERCURY. First verging on the lucid fount of day, Bright Mercury directs his circling way; In three short months he rounds the circling sphere, His seasons shift, and ends his transient year. MERCURy, the nearest planet to the sun, moves round him in eighty-eight days of our time, which is the length of his year. His distance from the sun is computed at 37,000,000 of miles, and his diameter at 3000 miles. In his course round the sun, he is supposed to move with a velocity equal to 109,000 miles in one hour. But what is this in comparison to the velocity of the rays of light, which dart at the rate of 180,000 miles in a second 2 From the time of his superior” to his inferiors conjunctiont he rises and sets after the sun, and then appears only in the evening; but from his inserior to his superior conjunction, he rises and sets before the sun, and consequently is visible only in the morning. According to the most eminent astronomers, the light and heat of the sun on the surface of Mercury, are seven times more intense than on the Earth in the middle of summer. Such a degree of heat must therefore render Mercury uninhabitable by beings of the same composition with ourselves; but, as the Almighty can with the utmost facility adapt bodies to the temperature of the planets they inhabit, we must reasonably conclude that Mercury is peopled as well as our earthly globe. Few observations can be made on him with accuracy, because, in consequence of his proximity to the sun, his feeble ray is almost lost in the superior splendour of that great luminary. When at his greatest distance, he is only twenty-seven and a half degrees from the sun, and at other times is so near as to rise and set almost at the same moment. The measure of a planet's distance from the sun is called its elongation. The best time for making the most favourable observations on this planet is, when he passes before the sun, and is seen traversing his disc in the form of a black spot. This passage of a planet over the face of the sun is called its transit. The colour of Mercury is like that of Venus, but much brighter. If at any time we see a bright silvery-looking star near the place of the suu just before sunrise in the east, or in the west soon aster sunset, with a fine clear light and great lustre, it is Mer

cury.

The great velocity with which Mercury moves in his orbit, probably induced the Greeks to give him the name of the Messenger of the Gods, who is aptly represented with wings on his cap and sandals, emblematic of the swiftness with which he flew to execute their commands.

The last transit of Mercury happened on the 5th of May, during the last year. Other transits will happen on the 7th of November, 1835; May 8th, 1845; May 9th, 1748; November 12th, 1861; November 5th, 1868; May 5th, 1878; November 8th, 1881; May 10th, 1891; and November 10th, 1894. These are all which will occur in the present century.—Guide to Knowledge.

* Upper.

t Lower.

f The meeting of the stars or planets in the same degree of the zodiac.

TELESCOPIC APPEARANCE OF VENUS.

See Venus next reveals her pleasing ray, Now leading on, now closing up the day, Term'd Phosphor,” when her morning beams she yields, And Hesper, t when her ray the ev'ning gilds. Venus, the second planet from the Sun, is the next that comes under our consideration. Of all the planets this is the most beautiful, and is distinguished from the others by a superiority of lustre. She is distant from the Sun not quite 69,000,000 of miles; she revolves round him in two hundred and and twenty-four days, seventeen hours, and turns on her axis in twenty-three hours, twenty-two minutes; so that her astronomical day differs but little from that of the Earth. *. diameter of Venus is 77.43 miles: she is therefore about nine-tenths of the bulk of the Earth. Her velocity in her orbit is 80,295 miles per hour; her diurmal rotation is at the rate of 1943 miles in the same time. As Venus is an interior planet for the reason before mentioned, she appears to change precisely in the same manner as the Moon and Mercury do. Her greatest distance from the sun never exceeds forty-eight degrees, so that she is never seen in the east when the Sun is in the west, nor in the west when the Sun is in the east. Hence, according to her position in regard to the Sun, she is seen sometimes in the morning before his rising, when she is called Phosphorus, or Morning Star; and sometimes after the Sun's setting, when she obtains the name of Hesperus, or the Evening Star. Or, in other words, when Venus is west of the Sun, she rises before him, and is then called the Morning Star, and when she is east of him, she sets after him, and is denominated the Evening Star: this continues from one conjunction to another, a period of nearly 584 days. It may seem extraordinary that, while Venus performs her revolution round the Sun in 224 days, she should require 584 to pass from one conjunction to another. But it must be remembered that the Earth revolves the same way, though not with such rapidity; so that Venus must make more than two revolutions before she can be in such a position with respect to the Earth and Sun as to be again in conjunction with the Earth. All the planets vary in their apparentt diameters according as they are nearer or further from the Earth. In Venus the difference is very great, no less than thirtytwo to one; that is, she appears thirty-two times larger at one particular period than at another particular pe— riod, and shines with a lustre that renders her visible many hours after the Sun has arisen upon the Earth. Spots may be seen on the discs of Venus, which being permanent afford the means of ascertaining the time of her rotation on her axis: and, when viewed through a good telescope, she exhibits all the various phases ascribed to Mercury. She sometimes passes exactly between the Earth and Sun, and is seen like a round black

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spot passing over his disc, which is called a “Transit of Venus.” This happens only twice in about a hundred years,” but the transits of Mercury happen much of tener. Venus from her singular beauty is, and ever was, the most admired of any star, both by land and sea; and such great veneration had the ancients for her, that they made her their favourite goddess, and gave her all that deity itself could claim, As Venus, like the rest of the planets, receives her light from the Sun, she has all the various appearances of the Moon, being gibbous, horned, and full, in rotation. The days and nights in the regions of Venus are nearly equal, except at her poles: her axis being nearly at right angles with the plane of her orbit. The heat on the surface of this planet must be twice as great as with us. though far more moderate than that on the surface of Mercury. As neither Venus nor Mercury has any attendant satellites, it is probable that the Sun, to which they are so near, supersedes the necessity of a secondary light. The inhabitants of Venus will see the planet Mercury always accompanying the Sun , and he will be to them by turns an evening or a morning star, as Venus is to us. To the same inhabitants, the Sun will appear almost twice as large as he does to us. One would not imagine that this planet, which appears so much superior to Saturn in the Heavens, is so inconsiderable when compared to it: for the diameter of Saturn is 79,600 miles, while that of Venus is only 7743 miles. It is the distance that produces these effects; which gives and takes away the apparent magnitude of things. Now remember (which has been observed before) that the apparent size of Venus varies with her distance; at some seasons she appears nearly thirty-two times larger than at others.

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point only, and is so nicely balanced, that two or three It is eight feet six inchcs On the

men with a pole can move it. high, and forty-seven feet in circumference.

top there is a bason hollowed out, three feet eleven inches in diameter at a medium, but wider at the brim, and three feet deep. From the globular shape of this upper stone, it is highly probable that it was rounded by human art, and perhaps even placed on its pedestal by human strength.

In Sithney parish, near Helston, in Cornwall, stood the famous Logan, or rocking-stone, commonly called Men Amber, Men-au-bar, or the top stone. It was eleven feet by six, and four high, and so nicely poised on another stone that a little child could move it, and all travellers who passed this way desired to see it. But Shrubsall, Cromwell's governor of Pendenis, with much ado caused it to be undermined, to the great grief of the country.— There are some marks of the tool upon it, and by its quadrangular shape, it was probably dedicated to Mercury.

É the parish of Kirkmichael, in Scotland, there is a very remarkable stone of this description. It stands on a flat topped eminence, surrounded at some distance by steep rocky hills. It rests on the plain surface of a rock, level with the ground. Its shape is quadrangular, approaching to the figure of a rhombus, of which the greater diagonal is seven feet, and the lesser five. Its medium thickness is about two feet and a hals; its solid contents will therefore be about fifty-one cubical feet. As it is of very hard and solid whinstone, its weight, reckoning the cubical foot at eight stone three pounds, may be reckoned to be four hundred and eighteen stone five pounds, or within thirty pounds of three tons. It touches the rock on which it rests only in one line, which is in the same plane with the lesser diagonal, and its lower surface is convex towards the extremities of the greater diagonal. By pressing down either of the extreme corners, and withdrawing the pressure alternately, a rocking motion is produced, which may be increased so much, that the distance between the lowest depression and highest elevation is a full foot. When the pressure is wholly withdrawn, the stone will continue to rock till it has made 26 or more vibrations from one side to the other, before it settles in its naturally horizontal position. Both the lower side of the stone, and the surface of the rock on which it rests, appear to be worn and roughened by mutual friction.

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they did not wait until death did its office, but when any person grew old, they killed him and eat his flesh. If he died of sickness they buried him. The same historian relates, that several Indian nations killed all their old people and their sick, to feed on the flesh; and persons in health were sometimes accused of being ill, in order to afford a pretence for devouring them. The Greek writers all represent cannibalism as universal before the time of Orpheus; and according to Sextus Empiricus, the first laws that were made were for the prevention of this barbarous practice. We have equally good evidence of the custom of eating human flesh in later times. All the Romish missionaries who visited the internal parts of Africa, and some parts of Asia, speak of it as quite common. Herrera states, that there are great markets in China furnished wholly with human flesh, for the higher orders of the people; and other writers mention it as common to the inhabitants of Concha, Java, Siam, the islands in the gulf of Bengal, &c. The philosophers Diogenes, Chrysippus, and Zeno, followed by the whole sect of Stoics, maintain that there is nothing unnatural in the eating of human flesh, and that it is very reasonable to use dead bodies for food, rather than give them a prey to worms and putrefaction. In Egypt, in the thirteenth century, the habit of eating human flesh pervaded all classes of society, and extraordinary snares were spread for physicians in particular. They were called to attend persons who pretended to be sick, but who were only hungry ; and it was not in order to consult, but to devour them. A historian of great veracity, Abd-Allatif, has related how a practice which at first inspired dread and horror, soon occasioned not the slightest surprise. He says: “When the poor began to eat human flesh, the horror and astonishment caused by repasts so dreadful were such, that these crimes surnished the never ceasing subject of every conversation. But at length the people became so much accustomed to it, and conceived such a taste for this detestable food, that people of wealth and respectability were found to use it as their ordinary food, to eat it by way of regale, and even to lay in a stock of it. Thus flesh was prepared in different ways, and the practice being once introduced, spread into the provinces, so that examples of it were found in every part of Egypt. It then no longer caused any surprise; the horror it had first inspired vanished, and it was mentioned as an indifferent and ordinary thing. This fury of devouring one another became so common among the oor, that the greater part perished in this manner.— hese wretches employed all sorts of artifices to seize men by surprise, or decoy them into their houses under false pretences. This happened to three physicians among those who visited me ; and a bookseller who sold me books, an old and very corpulent man, fell into their snares, and escaped with great difficulty. “All the facts we relate as ocular witnesses, fell under our observation accidentally, for we generally avoided seeing spectacles which inspired us with so much horror. " When America was discovered, cannibalism was found to be almost universal ; so much so that several authors have supposed it to be occasioned through a want of food, or through the indolence of the people to seek for it, though others ascribe its origin to a spirit of revenge. But although it is known that anthropophagy and the practice of human sacrifices with which it is often connected are found in all parts of the globe, and among people of very different races, yet what strikes us more in the study of history is, to see human sacrifices retained in a state of civilization somewhat advanced, and that the nations who hold it a point of honour to devour their prisoners, are not always the rudest and most ferocious. This observation, which has something in it distressing and painful, has not escaped such of the missionaries as are sufficiently enlightened to reflect on the manners of the surrounding tribes. The Cabres, the

Guipunavis, and the Caribbees, have always been more powerful and more civilized than the other hordes of the Oronooko; and yet the former two are as much addicted to anthropophagy, as the last are repugnant to it. We must carefully distinguish the different branches into which the great family of the Carribbee nation is divided. These branches are as numerous as those of the Monguls, and the western Tartars or Turcomans. The Carribbees of the continent, those who inhabit the plains between the Lower Oronooko, the Rio Branco, the Essequibo, and the sources of the Oyapoc, hold in horror the practice of devouring their enemies. This barbarous custom at the first discovery of America existed only among the Caribbees of the West Indies. The cannibalism of the nations of Guyana is never caused by the want of subsistence, or by the superstitions of their religion, as in the islands of the South Sea; but it is generally the effect of the vengeance of a conqueror, and (as the missionaries say) “of a vitiated appetite.” Victory over a hostile horde is celebrated by a repast, in which some parts of the body of a prisoner are devoured. Sometimes a defenceless family is surprised in the night, or an enemy who is met with by chance in the woods is killed by a poisoned arrow. The body is cut in pieces, and carried as a trophy to the hut. It is civilization only that has made man feel the unity of the human race; which has revealed to him, as we may say, the ties of consanguinity by which he is linked to beings to whose language and manners he is a stranger. Savages know only their own family ; and a tribe appears to them but a numerous assemblage of relations. When those who inhabit the missions see Indians of the forest who are unknown to them arrive, they make use of an expression which has struck us by its simple candour: “They are no doubt my relations; I understand them when they speak to me.” But these very savages detest all who are not of their family or their tribe, and hunt the Indians of a neighbouring tribe, who live at war with their own, as we hunt game. They know the duties of family and of relationship, but not those of humanity, which require the feeling of a common tie with beings framed like ourselves. No emotion of pity prompts them to spare the wives or children of a hostile race; and the latter are devoured in preference at the repasts given at the conclusion of a battle, or of a warlike incursion. The hatred which savages for the most part feel for men who speak another idiom, and appear to them to be barbarians of an inferior race, is sometimes rekindled in the missions after having long slumbered. A short time before our arrival at Esmeralda, says Humboldt, an Indian, born in the forest behind Duida, travelled alone with another Indian, who, after having been made prisoner by the Spaniards on the banks of the Ventuario, lived peaceably in the village, or as it is expressed here, “within the sound of the bell,” debaxo de la campana. The latter could only walk slowly, because he laboured under one of those fevers to which the natives are subject when they arrive in the missions and abruptly change their diet. Wearied of his delay, his fellow traveller killed him, and hid the body behind a copse of thick trees, near Esmeralda. This crime, like many others among the Indians, would have remained unknown, if the murderer had not made preparations for a feast on the following day. He tried to induce his children, born in the mission and become Christians, to go with him for some parts of the dead body. They had much difficulty in persuading him to desist from his purpose; and the soldier who was posted at Esmeralda learned from the domestic squabble caused by this event what the Indians would have hidden from his knowledge. In the island of Sumatra, human flesh is still eaten by the Batta people, but by them only. “They do not eat human flesh,” says Mr. Marsden, “as a means of satisfying the cravings of nature, owing to a deficiency of other sood; nor is it sought after as a gluttonous de

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