« PreviousContinue »
More distant still our Earth comes rolling on,
And forms a wider circle round the Sun :
With her the Moon, companion ever dear!
Her course attending through the shining year.
BAKER. The next planet to Venus in the order of the System,
is the EARTH on which we live; which may be considered of second rate importance, being much inserior in magnitude to Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus, but superior to Mercury, Venus, Mars, and the four new planets.— But small as the Earth is when compared to some of the other planets, it is to us of the highest importance: we wish only to attain knowledge of others, that we may find out their relation to this, and thence learn our connexion with the universe at large. In our preceding numbers we have spoken of the Earth in general, but here we wish to come to particulars, with the view of leading youth, by gentle and easy steps, from the first principles of the science to those parts which are the most interesting and useful. And as the Earth we inhabit is constantly subject to our observation, and is that with which we are best acquainted, a more full description of it than we have hitherto given will naturally excite curiosity and attention, and thereby lead on to a complete development of the origin, rise, progress, and history of literature, science, and the arts. In the earliest ages of the world, mankind knew nothing as to its form and shape; and even in the present enlightened age, it is not unusual to meet with persons whose ideas in this respect are far from the truth. Those who have
pool-re moon is also represented in her orbit round 1.
not been in the habit of considering this subject in an astronomical point of view, have still a very confused notion of the shape of the Earth, and also as to its position in the heavens.
The Earth, like the other planets, is not a perfect sphere, its equatorial” diameter exceeding in length its axis by more than thirty miles; the former being 7964 miles, and the latter about 7930; her distance from the Sun is 95,173,000 miles; and she traverses the whole of her orbit in 365 days, 6 hours, 9 minutes, which constitutes her year.
The aris of the Earth is not perpendicular to the plane of the Ecliptic,+ but inclined to it at an angle os 32° 28′ : round this axis she revolves in 23 hours, 56 minutes, 4 seconds, which is the length of the astron omical day.
The inclination of the Earth's axis is the principal cause of the variety or change of seasons; for as the axis of the Earth always preserves its parallelism, in her
* Equatorial, belonging to the equator, an imaginary line which divides the world into two equal parts, called the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. When the sun comes to this circle, the days and nights are equal all round the globe.
f The Ecliptic is a great circle of the sphere, in which the Sun always appears to move; so called because Eclipses generally happen when the Moon is in or near this circle. It is divided into 12 equal parts, which are called signs; each of which takes its name from that constellation which, at the time the names were given, was situated near the portion of the Ecliptic it denominates revolution round the Sun, at one part of her orbit she receives most of the light and heat on her northern hemisphere, and at another part on her southern, according as her north or south pole is turned towards the sun; while in two points of her orbit, both hemispheres are equally enlightened. The above diagram will best explain the cause of the change of seasons, and of the lengths of the days and nights. Let A, B, C, D, represent the Earth in four different parts of her orbit, equi-distant from one another ;—N for aris and the north pole, and S the sun, nearly in the centre of the Earth's orbit. As the Earth goes round the sun, according to the order of the letters A, B, C, D, her axis N keeps the same obliquity, and is exactly parallel in every part of her orbit. When the Earth is at A, its north pole inclines towards the sun, and brings all the northern places more into the light than at any other time of the year. But when the Earth is at C, in the opposite time of the year, the north pole declines from the sun, which occasions the northern places to be more dark than in the light, and the reverse at the southern places. When the Earth is either at B or D, she inclines not either to or from the sun, but lies sideways to him, and then the poles are in the boundary of light and darkness; and the sun being directly over the equator, makes equal day and night at all places. When the Earth is at E, it is half way between the summer solsticet and autumnal equinor; and when it is at F, it is half way between the autumnal equinor and the winter solstice; at G, half way from the winter solstice to the spring equinox; and at H, half way from the spring equinox to the summer solstice. From this it is evident, that when the Earth is at A, the north pole is enlightened, and the southern in darkness, and that exactly the reverse is the case when thepact body, and made the animal which was to be chased distinctly known to every individual of the party. Our settled object was to drive him to the house ; and to render the sport as complete as possible, the lasso" was not to be used until there appeared a probability that he would otherwise escape. Some of the people then dashed into the midst of the herd, attentively observing the selected animal. One half of the oxen were thus driven at once from the spot, and others which chose to do so were permitted to follow without molestation: but wherever the victim turned, a horseman met him and stopped his career. The work was easy until the remaining group was reduced to about twenty, which then made violent attempts to rejoin their comrades, and fiercely attacked the huntsmen who intercepted them. In a short time. four of them being hard pressed, plunged into some watery ground about two miles from the house, and among them was the object of the chase.— When driven from the water, this small number were more harrassed than before, and perceiving their danger, exerted themselves with redoubled violence. Sometimes we were obliged to ride hard ; and great coolness and address were necessary to prevent their escape behind us and into a wood, which we were now approaching.— In this last respect our efforts were vain : they gained this refuge, and we could no longer act in concert. The wood was full of thick bushes of myrtle, and many trees spread their arms horizontally seven or eight feet from the ground. It was matter of high gratification as well as wonder, to observe how our huntsmen rounded the bushes, and bent under the branches, so as sometimes to hang on the sides of their horses. Though unable to follow, 1 soon encountered our chief, who had made an unsuccessful cast with his lasso, and was disentangling it from the branches of a tree. I shall never forget the ardour and rapidity with which he afterwards darted and wheeled among the trees, nor lose the conviction fixed upon my mind, what execution such men, so trained, must be capable of in a country like this. My musings were soon interrupted by reaching the beach, and seeing at a distance our young hero, with his ox securely attached to his horse by the lasso, and leading the captive towards the house. The instrument had gone round his horns, and was fixed close to the crown of his head. The animal thus entangled advanced with the most malicious vexation, and made many serocious efforts to gore the horse which had before pursued and now led
* Is that time when the sun is at the greatest distance from the equator, and is thus called because he then appears to stand still, and not to change his distance from the equator for some time, which appearance is owing to the obliquity of our sphere, and which those living under the equator are strangers to. Solstice is from the Latin words sol, sun, and sto, to stand.
Earth arrives at C, for then the south pole is enlightened and the north in darkness; in the former case, the northern hemisphere has summer and the longest day, while the south has winter and the shortest day; in the latter every thing is completely reversed. That the Earth is of a globular form, may be inferred from analogy; as all the other heavenly bodies which are visible to us are globes, there is little reason to doubt that the earth is so likewise. Of this, however, there are demonstrative proofs. The motion of the Earth in her orbit round the sun is called her annual motion, and that round her axis, her diurnal motion, which, at the equator, is about 1942 miles an hour. These two motions, although constantly carried on together, are not sensible to us, because they are so equable, interrupted by no impediments, and because every thing on the Earth's surface, and the atmosphere itself, partake of these motions. The Earth is surrounded by a compound fluid substance called the atmosphere, which consists of air mingled with aqueous vapours" and other exhalations from her surface. This atmosphere has a refractive+ power, by which the rays of the sun are bent out of a straight line, and occasion a degree of light after that luminary is below the horizon. This saint light is denominated twilight. It has already been observed, that the Orbit of the Earth is not a perfect circle, but inclined to the Elipse, and that the Sun is not exactly in its centre. This occasions the Earth to be seven days longer in passing through one half of her orbit than she is in traversing the other. The Orbit of the Earth is placed between those of Venus and Mars.
* “The lasso is made of narrow thongs, plaited in the same ns the bridles, and is about 7 or 8 yards long. One end of it is firmly fixed to the hinder part of the saddle, generally on the right side: at the other end is an iron ring, about two inches in diameter. The horseman about to use the lasso forms a sort of running noose by passing a portion of it through the ring; this is taken in the right hand, so as that the ring may be at the opposite art of the circle; the noose is then swung with care over the lead, until the extreme part of it, including the ring, acquires a considerable momentum. The instrument thus prepared as the man advances towards his selected victim, is in dire time dischared, carries off the remainder of the string, which before hung so in coils on the fingers of the left hand, and seldom fails to entangle the benst. A well-trained horse, though at full speed when the lasso is thrown, instantly stops, and turning round, pulls against the animal, which is now attached to him. The halls are three in number, round, and nearly three inches in diameter. The external part of each is a sort of purse made of hide, rendered pliable by soaking: the purse is filled with sand, and the aperture drawn close. In drying, the leather contracts, and the whole becomes as hard as n stone. To each ball a string is attached three or four feet long, made of plaited thongs, like the lasso; and the three strings are united by a knot, at two feet distance from the balls. This may be called the handle of the instrument; for the rson using it takes the knot in his right hand, and having given it the necessary velocity, by swinging it over his head with all his might, throws it at the legs of the horse or ox which he wishes to secure. In their progress, the balls spread to the utmost distance which the strings will allow, and, reaching the leg, generally pass round it; nnd though, perhaps, only slightly entangling the animal, sufficiently impede its slight.”—The custom was derived from the Maraocato and other Indian tribes, who used the lasso and balls with great effect against Mendonca, when he landed, and sounded the city of Buenos Ayres.
him ; but the wary creature, which had often before been yoked to an unnatural and violent mate, kept his eye upon the ox, and pulled at the lasso so as to keep it always on the stretch, and himself two springs in advance. In his precautions he was greatly assisted by his rider, who with equal care watched the maddening spirit of the beast, and gave signals to the horse. Convinced at length that his attempts to gore his leader were vain, the ox became sullen, and was partly dragged onward. While he was in this mood, the horse passed to the right of a detached bush, and the ox by a sudden spring got nearly abreast of him on the lest: thus, the lasso was brought over his back, and he was enabled to employ his utmost might to draw the horse round the bush ; the horse also used all his power to counteract this manoeuvre; and thus the great strength of the lasso was proved. . By this time the whole party was again collected, and another lasso applied to assist in conducting the captive, which, seemingly conscious that he was completely subdued, walked along quietly. A boat had just reached the beach; and the people were still on board, when the treacherous animal, as soon as he came near enough, made an unexpected attack, and caused them to tumble one over another into the water, to the great amusement of the spectators.
“Returning to the hut after a chase of three hours, milk and fruit were served to us in abundance; while the beast was taken from his former bondage and tied to a post, where I found him bellowing with madness, and still furiously striving to release himself. A man now came forward with an instrument called a facam, somewhat resembling both a large carving-knife and a short sword; and, warning every one to be on his guard, passed near the heels of the ox, and endeavoured by a back-handed stroke to hongh him. The attempt was clumsily made, and the beast though wounded was not disabled. Another took the instrument, and used it with greater effect; when the ox gave a desperate kick at the operator, and snapping the tendon fell on his haunches. A third then drew a sharp knife across his throat: blood copiously followed; and with a deepbellow, expressive of rage and agony, he yielded up his life. Immediately the people set about skinning the beast, and preparing a part of him for dinner. The former operation was performed in a workman-like manner; and the skin as it was taken off, being stretched upon the ground, preserved the flesh from blood and dirt. During this process, fires had been kindled, and had burned down to clear embers. Slices of slesh were then cut off from the ribs, as the choicest part, for the master and his guests, and roasted at a fire apart; afterwards, the attendants helped themselves as they pleased, and cooked their portion after their own modes.
“Horses are trained for the exercises of the field, by fastening a dry hide to the back part of the saddle, and allowing it to trail on the ground. As the horse moves, the hide rattles, and the noise alarms him: he attempts to sly, when it beats against his heels, and he kicks at it violently; but soon convinced that all his alarm and rage are fruitless, he learns to be patient and quiet. In this state, a person mounts him, and compels him to move forward; at first gently, afterwards at an increased pace. He begins with trampling upon the hide; but this incommodes him, perhaps almost throws him down backwards: he then sets down his feet more carefully and safely. The contrivance induces him also to keep an eye turned on the object behind; while the rider takes him over rough and boggy ground, obliging him at the same time to look forward and mark where he is going. Thus he forms a habit of quickly discerning danger and avoiding it, from whatever quarter it may coine. So much are the Brazilian horses in general fenced against alarms, that I hardly ever met with one of the description which we call skittish."—Cabinet of Curiosities.
THE SPOTTED NEGRO BOY.
GeoRGE ALEXANDER GRAtton, the Spotted Negro Boy, whose portrait embellishes our present number, was well known to the inhabitants of the metropolis and its vicinity about 12 years ago, at which time he was cxhibited at the fairs by Richardson, a famous purveyor of objects of entertainment at those places of popular festivity. Both the parents of George Alexander were black, and natives of Africa. He was born in the island of St. Vincent, on the plantation of Mr. Alexander, of which one Gratton was overseer, about the month of June, 1808; and the curiosity of his appearance was such, that he was shown in the capital of his native island, at the price of a dollar each person. It is added, that the superstitious prejudices of the negroes placed his life in some danger, and that he was on that account shipped for England. Probably the prospect of a profitable disposal of him in this country, was an equally powerful motive for his removal. The child was only fifteen months old, when, in September, 1809, being brought to Bristol, in the ship called the Friends of Emma, Mr. Richardson, the proprietor, as before intimated, of a travelling theatre, was applied to, and an engagement entered upon, by which he was consigned to Mr. Richardson's care for 3 years. His skin and hair were every where party-coloured, transparent brown and white. On the crown of his head, several triangles, one within the other, were formed by alternations of the colours of his hair. In figure and countenance he might truly be called a beautiful child. His limbs were well proportioned, his features regular and pleasing, his eyes bright and intelligent, and the whole expression of his face both mild and lively. His voice was soft and melodious ; and as his mind began to develope itself, much quickness and penetration were betrayed. When nearly five years of age, he was unfortunately attacked with a swelling in the jaw, and died on the 3d of February, 1813. Mr. Richardson, who had always treated him with a parental kindness while alive, was sincerely afflicted at his death. Soon after he had been placed with him, he had caused him to be baptized at
the parish church of Newington, in the eounty of Surrey, and on his death, he was buried at Great Marlow, in Buckinghamshire, in a brick vault, which Mr. Richardson caused to be purposely constructed. Mr. Richardson, fearful that the body might be stolen, had previously kept it unburied for the space of three months. In the vestry of the church of Great Marlow hangs a fine painting of this extraordinary natural phenomenon, executed from the life by Coventry, and presented to the corporation of Buckingham by Mr. Richardson; who finally closed his displays of affectionate regard for a child which was not originally more recommended to his attention by his curiosity, than he was afterwards endeared to him by disposition and manners, by erecting a monument to his memory at Great Marlow, and placing upon it the following inscription and epitaph:—
TO THE MEMORY or GE OR G E A LE X AND E R G R A TT ON, THE SPOTTED NEGRO Bo Y, From the Carribee Islands, in the West Indies, who died Feb. 3d, 1813, aged four years and three quarters.
This Tomb, erected by his only Friend and Guardian, Mr. John Richardson, of London.
Should this plain, simple tomb attract thine eye,
His parents born of Afric's sun-burnt race,
To bury him his loved companions came,
EXPLANATION OF WORDS AND PHRASES. AD og Ni UccELLo—suo Nido E BELLo. Ital. Proverb. —“With every bird its own nest is charming.” Adolescentry v ERECUNDUM Essr DEcET. Lat. PlauTUs.—“It becomes a young man to be modest.” AD PopULUM PHALERAs : Ego TE INTUs ET IN cute Novi. Lat. PERsius:-" Away with those trappings to the vulgar; I know thee both inwardly and outwardly.”—I know the man too well to be deceived by appearances. AD QUAEstion EM JURIs REspond EANT JUDices, AD QUAEstion EM FAct 1 REspon DEANT JURAtoREs, Lat. Law Maxim.—“Let the judges answer to the question of law, and the jurors to the matter of sact.” AD Quod DAMNUM. Law Lat.—“To what damage.” —A writ which ought to be issued before the grant of certain liberties, such as a fair or marked, ordering the sheriff to inquire what damage the county is liable to suffer by such grant. The same writ is also issued for similar inquiry with respect to lands granted to religious houses or corporations, for turning highways, &c. AD REFERENDUM. Lat.—“To be surther considered.” —A diplomatic phrase borrowed srom the States of Holland, and now used proverbially to imply a slowness of deliberation and decision. ADscriptus GLEBE. Lat.—“Attached to the soil.”— Disposable with the land. This is now the wretched description of the peasantry in Russia. It was
formerly so in other countries.
According to Lieutenant Wilford, the Brahminical Puranas state the circumference of the earth at 2,456, 000,000 British miles; whereas, according to our calculation, it does not exceed 24,000 miles. These works also tell us of mountains 491 miles high ; of a king reigning 27,000 years; of Vaisvaswatu having lived 3,892,888 years ago, and whose reign lasted 1,728,000 years. The civil list and droits are not stated. Also, of an island in the middle of the earth, 400,000 French leagues long, and as many broad; and of a mountain in that island, 400,000 leagues high, and 32,000 wide ; of other mountains, 40,000 and 280,000 leagues high. *I'hese latter wonders are in the Bagavadam: and, in the same Puranas, there is a tree mentioned, 4,400 leagues high : and again, an island which is 3.200,000 leagues in extent: and another surrounded by a sea of milk, rather more than 12,000,000 of leagues in circumference. These things are taught by the Brahmins as sacred truths, to the people who believe them. The eccentricities, however, just pointed out, do not come up to those of a host of British scholars, who set these childish legends down as “enchanting books;” and that the “lover of science, the antiquary, the historian, the moralist, and the man of taste, will obtain an inexhaustible fund of information and amusement "
Cabinet of Curiosities.
This Empire, says the Chinese Repository, stands at this moment a stupendous anomaly, and beyond all controversy presents the wildest and most interesting field of research under heaven. A vast domain, stretching from East to West more than 3000 miles, and from North to South 2000 and upward—and, with the exception of the Russian establishment at Pekin consisting of only ten persons, and a very narrow place at Canton and Macao, foreigners can by no means be permitted to enter and reside in it. - LADY MARY WORTLEY MONTAGUE. As Lady Mary Wortley Montague was walking through the gardens at Stow with a party, she was much teased by an impertinent young coxcomb, who was continually making some foolish observations to her. On coming to one of the temples, over which there was an inscription, she took advantage of this opportunity to expose his ignorance and put him to silence. “Pray, sir,” said she, “be kind enough to explain that inscription to ms.” “Madam,” said the young gentleman, with an affected air, “I really do not know what it means, for 1 see it is dog Latin.” “How very extraordinary it is,” said Lady Mary, “that puppies do not understand their own language "—Ib.
Some reputed saints that have been canonized, ought to have been cannonaded; and some reputed sinners that have been cannonaded, ought to have been canonized.
Lady Wallace, who was once celebrated in Scotland for wit and beauty, happening to be at an assembly in Edinburg, a young gentleman, the son of his majesty's printer, who had the patent for publishing Bibles, made his appearance, dressed in green and gold. Being a new face, and extremely elegant, he attracted the attention of the whole company. A general murmur prevailed in the room, to know who he was: Lady Wallace instantly made answer, loud enough to be heard by the stranger—“Oh, don't you know him? It is young Bible, bound in calf, and gilt, but not lettered.—Anec dote Library.
ITEMS OF NEWS.
The engrossing topic in the British Parliament, was West India slavery. It seemed to be agreed on all hands that slavery must be abolished, and that the planters must be remunerated: the only question that remained to be decided was, the amount of compensation to be allowed to them.
There had been a great meeting at Birmingham in opposition to the present British, Ministry, amounting to 80,000. It was addressed by O'Connell and others.
An official detailed report of the deaths by cholera has been published by the authorities of Havana, in a pamphlet of 100 pages. Total number of deaths, 8253.
Edmund Kean, the great Tragedian, died on the 15th May, aged 45.
General Coffee died on the 7th inst. in the 62d year of his age, at his residence near Florence, Alabama.
ONE HUNDRED AGENTS
Could be advantageously employed in different sections of the Union, in obtaining subscribers for this Magazine. It is not of a local character, so is calculated for general circulation; and hence subscribers may as well be obtained in one part of the country, as another. Good encouragement will be given to agents, and a number to the amount .. hundred at least, could be furnished by us with profitable employment.
PUBLISHED At 22 william street.
TeRMs. ONE Dollar AND FIFTY CENTs PER ANNUM, IN Advancr. Should an order for the Magazine be received, unaccompanied by advance payment, one number will be sent, showing our terms; after which, no more will be forwarded till payment shall have been received. Companies of four individuals, sending Five Dollars, current here, free of postage, will be furnished with four copies for one year. Companies of ten, sending teN Dollars as above, will be himo, ten copies. As the sum of $150, which is the price of the Magazine to a single subscriber, cannot conveniently be sent by mail, it will be ...} that two subscribers at least send payment in a letter together. [[j' Schools adopting the Magazine will be supplied at oxx DoI.I.AR per annum for each copy. The postage on the Magazine is 3-4 of a cent under one hundred miles, and 1 cent and 1-4 for any distance over. We would have it distinctly understood, that our terms are not published as a mere matter of course. We shall adhere to them to the very letter. Experience has taught us their necessity. The credit system is the bane, the ruin of periodicals. Prompt payment is absolutely indispensable to their prosperity, nay, to their very existence. Scattered as is their patronage over a wide extent of country, their proprietors, for the want of promptitude on the part of their subscribers, are compelled to resort to loans, and to purchase their paper and hire their printing at a heavy advance. And not unfrequently are they forced to wind up their concerns altogether. Now we view our object to be altogether too important to be jeoparded thus; and we shall therefore require payment in all cases in AdvancE. Our expenses are heavy, and those who have our paper must pay them, of we have no money to throw away. Every reasonable man will at once perceive the propriety and necessity of these terms. *...* Letters should be addressed thus: Editor of the Family Magazine, 222 William Street, New York.
3$ook amb 3sob 33rinting EXECUTED WITH NEATNESS AND DESPATCH At this office,