Page images

as possible to the bears, which abound in vast numbers throughout the forests, and in spite of all imaginable precautions, do considerable damage to the hives. On this account, the natives put in practice every kind of •means, not only for defending themselves from these voracious animals, but for their destruction. The method most in use consists in sticking into the trunk of the tree old blades of knives standing upwards, scythes, and pieces of pointed iron, disposed circularly round it when the tree is straight, or at the place of bending when the trunk is crooked. The bear has commonly dexterity enough to avoid these points in climbing up the tree; but when he descends, as he always does, backwards, he gets on these hooks, and receives such deep wounds, that he usually dies. Old bears o, take the precaution to bend down these blades with their fore-paws as they mount, and thereby render all this offensive armour useless.


One mode is, to suspend a platform by long ropes to the furthest extremity of a branch of the tree. The platform is disposed horizontally before the hive, and there tied fast to the trunk of the tree with a cord made of bark. The bear, who finds the seat very convenient for proceeding to the opening of the hive, begins by tearing the cord of bark which holds the platform to the trunk, and hinders him from executing his purpose. Upon this, the platform immediately quits the tree, and swings in the air with the animal seated upon it. If, on the first shock, the bear is not tumbled out, he must either take

[blocks in formation]

“It is also kept in the church of the hospital of Nuremberg, with the | crown and sceptre and other regalia | of Charlemagne. Misson so particularly distinguishes it, that his account shall be given verbatim. After mentioning the sword of Charlemagne, which its keepers pretend “was brought by an angel from heaven,” he says, “They also keep many relics in this church; and among others, St. Longin's lance.” There is no reason to doubt, therefore, that the ecclesiastics of Nuremberg deemed Longinus a saint, as well as the ecclesiastics of Saint Peter's at Rome.— Misson goes on to say, “They are not ignorant that this pretended lance is to be seen in above ten other places of the world; but they say theirs came from Antioch; it was St. Andrew who found it; one single man with it discomfited a whole army; it was the thing of the world which Charlemagne loved most. The other lances are counterfeits, and this is the true one. It is requisite to observe Misson's very next words, which, though they do not seem connected with this “true lance” of Nuremberg, are yet connected with the issue. He proceeds to say, “They || || have also an extraordinary veneration | for a piece of the cross, in the midst of which there is a hole that was made by one of the nails. They tell us that heretofore, the emperors placed their greatest hopes of prosperity and success, both in peace and war, in the possession of this enlivening wood, with the nail and other relics that are kept at Nuremberg.” Misson then adds, b way of note, the following list of these relics: The lance. The piece of the wood of the cross. One of the nails. Five thorns of the crown that was put on Christ's head. Part of the chains with which St. Peter and St. Paul were bound at Rome. o A little piece of the manger. A tooth of St. John the Baptist. One of St. Anne's arms. The towel with which Christ wiped the feet of his apostles. -A piece of St. John the Evange- * list's gown. o A piece from the table cloth which Christ used at his last supper with his disciples.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


ORDER is said to be Heaven's first law : so we have concluded to introduce it into our biographical department. Our plan in this respect is, to insert some peculiar character in each number, under a biographical head, till we reach a period in our historical department which will put us into possession of authentic likenesses of historical characters; when we shall dispense with our separate biographical department, and include history and biography in one.


Was sound in the woods of Hamelin, twenty eight miles srom Hanover, walking upon his hands and feet, climbing up trees like a squirrel, and feeding upon grass and moss of trees. . He was at that time judged to be about twelve or thirteen years old. Afterwards he made his escape into the same wood, but was again caught on a

tree, which was obliged to be first sawed down. He was brought to England in April, 1726, and again introduced into the presence of his majesty and of many of the nobility. He could not speak, and scarce seemed to have any idea of things. “It was in the beginning of June, 1782,” says Lord Monboddo, in the third volume of his Ancient Metaphysics, “that I saw him in a farm house, called Broadway, within about a mile of Berkhamstead, kept there upon a pension, which the king pays. He is but of low stature, not exceeding five feet three inches: and, though ne must now be about seventy years of age, has a fresh healthy look. He wears his beard; his face is not at all ugly or disagreeable; and he has a look that may be called sensible and sagacious for a savage. About twenty years ago, he was in use to elope, and to be missing for several days; and once, as I was told, he wandered as far as Norfolk: but, of late, he has been quite tame, and either keeps the house, or saunters about the farm. He has been the thirteen last years where he lives at present; and before that, he was twelve years with another farmer, whom I saw and conversed with. This farmer told me that he had been put to school somewhere in Hertfordshire, but had only learned to articulate his own name, Peter, and the name of King George, both which I heard him pronounce very distinctly. But the woman of the house where he now is (for the man happened not to be at home) told me that he understood everything that was said to him concerning the common affairs of life; and I saw that he readily understood several things that she said to him while I was present. Among other, things, she desired him to sing Nancy Dawson, which accordingly he did, and another tune that she named. He never was mischievous, but had always that gentleness of disposition which I hold to be characteristical of our nature, at least till we become car

nivorous, and hunters or warriors. IIe seeds at present as the farmer and his wife do ; but as 1 was told by an old woman, one Mrs. Callop, living at a village in the neighbourhood, called Hampstead, who remembered to have seen him when he first came to Hertfordshire, (which she computed to be fifty five years before the time I saw her,) he then fed very much upon leaves, and particularly upon the leaves of cabbages, which she saw him eat raw. He was then, as she thought, about fifteen years of age, walked upright, but could climb trees like a squirrel. At present, he not only eats flesh, but also has got the taste of beer, and even of spirits, of which he inclines to drink more than he can get. And the old farmer above-mentioned, with whom he lived twelve years before he came to this farmer, told me that he had acquired that taste before he came to him; that is, about twenty-five years ago. He is also become very fond of fire, but has not yet acquired a liking for money; for, though he takes it, he does not keep it, but gives it to his landlord or landlady, which I suppose is a lesson that they have taught him. He retains so much of his natural instinct, that he has a fore-feeling of bad weather, growling and howling, and showing great disorder, before it comes on.” In the latter end of April, 1785, Peter died at the farm. He was then nearly ninety years of age; but, notwithstanding the length of time he lived in England, he never acquired the use of speech-Anecdote Library,


Wohad prepared an article for this department relative to the human species; but finding our space fast waning, and having on hand an article which was selected and put in type before the adoption of our present plan on natural history, we thought it best to insert it, that it might not break in upon our order after we commence our systematic course. We therefore postpone the other article to make room for it.

The Cobra di Capello, or hooded snake, called by the Indians the naag, or nagao, is a large and beautiful serpent, but one of the most venomous of all the coluber class; its bite generally proves mortal in less than an hour. It is called the hooded snake, from having a curious hood near the head which it contracts or enlarges at pleasure; the centre of this hood is marked in black and white like a pair of spectacles, from whence it is also named the spectacle-snake.

Of this genus are the dancing-snakes, which are carried in baskets throughout Hindostan, and procure a maintenance for a set of people who play a few simple notes on the flute, with which the snakes seem much delighted, and keep time by a graceful motion of the head; erecting about half their length from the ground, and following the music with gentle curves, like the undulating lines of a swan's neck. It is a well-attested fact,

that when a house is infested with these snakes, and some


others of the coluber genus, which destroy poultry and small domestic animals, as also by the larger serpents of the boa tribe, the musicians are sent for; who, by playing on a flageolet, find out their hiding-places, and charm them to destruction: for no sooner do the snakes hear the music, than they come softly from their retreat, and are easily taken. “ }. (says Dr. Russell) “these musical snakes were known in Palestine, from the Psalmist comparing the ungodly to the deaf adder, which stoppeth her ears, and refuseth to hear the voice of the charmer, charm he never so wisely.” “When the music ceases, the snakes appear motionless; but is not immediately covered up in the basket, the spectators are liable to fatal accidents. Among my drawings is that of a cobra di capello, which danced for an hour on the table while I painted it; during which I frequently handled it, to observe the beauty of the spots, and especially the spectacles on the hood, not doubting but that its venomous fangs had been previously extracted. But the next morning, my upper servant, who was a zealous Mussulman, came to me in great haste, and desired I would instantly retire, and praise the Almighty for my good fortune. Not understanding his meaning, I told him that I had already performed my devotions, and had not so many stated prayers as the followers of his prophet. Mahomed then informed me, that while purchasing some fruit in the bazaar, he observed the man who had been with me on the preceding evening entertaining the country people with his dancing snakes; they, according to their usual custom, sat on the ground around him; when, either from the music stopping too suddenly, or from some other cause irritating the vicious reptile which I had so often handled, it darted at the throat of a young woman, and inflicted a wound of which she died in about half an hour. Mahomed once more repeated his advice for praise and thanksgiving to Alla, and recorded me in his calendar as a lucky man.”


Aphrosion ; (in Mechanical Philosophy,) the cohering or cleaving together of two or more material bodies; (in politics,) the acquiescence of an individual or a public body in the authority of “the powers that be.”

A pit of A MIN E: the passage whereby it is entered, and the water and ore conveyed away, being usually made on the side of a hill. It is distinct from another aperture denominated the air-shaft. Adox A1; the name used by the Jews to signify Jehovah. Advent; derived from a Latin verb signifying come. It means in general, the coming of any one; but more particularly is it used to signify the coming of Christ. It is the same as Christmas, and is commemorated by various churches. AED1'LEs: Roman Magistrates who derived their title from their having the care of the aedes or public buildings; as the temples, baths, markets, theatres, &c. They likewise had charge of the aqueducts, streets, roads, &c. They were divided into two classes; the Curule and Plebeian AFdiles. The former superintended the public games, and occupied a more honourable place in the Senate than the latter, who were assistants to the Tribunes. AE’NEID ; the immortal epic Poem of Virgil, the theme of which is the adventures of Æneas in his escape from the flames of Troy, and his settlement in Italy. It derives its title, ÆNE1D, from the name of the individual whom it celebrates. It is considered second to none, the Iliad of Homer excepted. AEo'LIAN HARP; a simple stringed instrument, which, placed in a gentle draught of wind, emits most exquisite strains of music. Its name is derived from AEolus, the heathen god of the winds, whom we shall have occasion to describe in the course of our Mythology. AE. Rolites: metallic stones which fall from the air, either in clear or stormy weather. They uniformly re

semble one another, but are entirely different from any

known terrestrial matter, being a semi-metallic substance,

coated externally with a thin, black incrustation. AE’RoNAUT; one who makes arial trips in a balloon.

CLAssic AL FAMILY Library.

As one of the best means for the diffusion of an important portion of universal knowledge, we would heartily recommend to the public the Classical Family Library now in the course of publication by the Messrs. Harpers of this city. Their plan is, to publish English translations of all the ancient Greek and Latin Classics; thus enabling the veriest labourer, who toils from morn till eve, to become, to all intents and |...}. a classical scholar;to acquire at his leisure, by a brief course of reading in his mother tongue, the same ideas, the same information, which students spend years in acquiring in the original languages, and which it would be im ... for the generality of people to obtain, were it not for translations. It is very true, that, on account of the peculiar idiom of a language, the original is preferable to a translation, so far as force and beauty are §o. but as to the substance, an individual pursuing the common business of life, may, by means of a translation, know as much about it, and turn it to as good account in conversation or otherwise, as the linguist who reads it in the original. We feel, therefore, that we cannot better subserve the cause we have espoused, than by inducing all whom we can, to furnish themselves with the works in question.

ALAs for Room!

Ere we were aware, we found ourselves nearly at the end of our little sheet, with matter on hand almost sufficient for another number. What could be done in such a case ? Insert it we could not. So we concluded to introduce—an apology. A most fortunate expedient this, saving us from a large amount of Editorial labour. Away went our “Literature, Science, and Arts;” away went our “Miscellany, Poetry, and News;” and we are compelled to furnish our readers with as much matter only as our paper will hold. If, during the first volume, the public will afford us a good round patronage, we will furnish them, during the second, with 16 pages weekly, instead of 8, by adding but 50 cents to our present price. In other words, we will give them a whole sheet super-royal octavo, at $2 per annum, instead of our present half sheet, at $150. Meantime we would remark, that we shall hereafter, at all events, make room for our “Miscellany, Poetry, and News.”

[IT. We have taken the office recently occupied by the “Free Enquirer,” 2.22 William street. Letters should be addressed thus: Editor of the Family Magazine, 222 William street, New York.

TERMs. ONE Doll.AR 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 poll ARs, current here, free of postage, will be furnished with four copies for one year. , Companics of ten, sending ten dollars as above, will be furnished with ten copies.

[[j' Schools adopting the Magazine, will be supplied at on E Dool.AR per annum for each copy.

As the sum of $1 50, which is the price of the Magazine to a single subscriber, cannot be sent by mail, it will be necessary that two subscribers at least send payment in a letter together.

The postage on the Magazine is 3-4 of a cent under one hundred miles, and 1 1-4 cent for any distance over.

Any deduction on uncurrent money, or on unpaid postage, will be charged to the account of the subscribers o should be recollected, that letters containing money are charged with more than single postage.

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, seeing we have no money to throw away. Every reasonable man will at once perceive the propriety and necessity of these terms.

ONE HUNDRED AGENts could be advantageously employed in different sections of the Union, in obtaining subscribers for the Magazine. It is not of a local charactor, but 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 of one hundred at least, could be surnished by us with profitable employment.

[merged small][ocr errors]


ALThough, as we have seen, there is a general agreement, in the great leading particulars, between the Mosaic and heathen cosmogonies, yet, as has likewise been seen, there is a difference in the minor details; which, whereever it occurs, is decidedly in favour of Moses. In addition to what we have already brought into view on this point, we will here notice the great antiquity to which some heathen nations pretend. The Egyptians claimed a far higher antiquity than Moses allows. One cause for this may have been, their reckoning time by lunar instead of solar months, or from their reckoning their kings in succession who reigned contemporaneously. Herodotus mentions twelve kings who reigned at one time. In fact, the Egyptian chronologers so disagreed among themselves, that they are no authoritiy at all, some computing about thirteen thousand years more than others, from the origin of their dynasties to the time of Alexander." The account of eclipses at the beginning of Diogenes Laertius, Cassini has found to be false. The earliest known astronomical observations made in Egypt, were those of the Alexandrian Greeks, less than three hundred years before Christ.} The boasted astronomical discoveries of the Chaldeans are equally unsounded. Diodorus Siculus says, they had various opinions relative to the eclipses of the sun, and could not foretel one. A notice of seven eclipses of the moon, the most ancient of which was but seven hundred years before Christ, is all that remains to confirm their extravagant pretensions to astronomical science. Equally vain and frivolous are the pretensions of the Chinese. They themselves confess, that their antiquities are in a great measure fabulous; and their most ancient books, as they acknowledge, were in hieroglyÉ. which were not explained till one thousand seven undred years after they were written; and besides, the numbers in computation are sometimes mistaken, and months put for years. In addition to all this, the Chinese Emperor Xi Hoam ti, about two hundred years before Christ, ordered all the monuments of antiquity, relating either to history or philosophy, particularly the books of Confucius, to be destroyed, and put many of the learned Chinese to death; so that there are but few fragments of the ancient writers left, and these such as we have seen them to be. As to their astronomical pretensions, it has been found by examination that their instruments were useless; that they were not able to make a correct calendar; and that their tables were so incorrect, that they could hardly foretel a solar eclipse.t The great antiquity claimed by the Hindoos, proves equally unfounded. This people, amid all their multitudinous works on theology and metaphysics, have no history, no work containing a distinct account of their origin and progress. Their Mahra-Bharata, which they call their great history, is a mere poem: their Pouranas are mere legends, containing among other things a few

[ocr errors]


NO. 3.

scattered chronological scraps, none of which extend beyond the time of Alexander." Their famous astronomical tables, from which some have attempted to prove their immense antiquity, are now ascertained to have been calculated backwards;# and it has likewise been ascertained, that their Surya-Siddhanta, which they consider their most ancient astronomical treatise, pretending it was revealed to their nation more than two millions of years ago, must have been written within the last eight hundred years!t Their Vedas, or sacred books, judging from the calendars conjoined with them, by which they are directed in their religious observances, and estimating the colures indicated in these calendars, would probably carry us back about three thousand years. So much for the wonderful antiquity of the Hindoos. We would again caution our readers against misapprehension. We are not labouring to prove the Bible, or to overthrow Scepticism. We are merely ascertaining fact in relation to history. And as certain things are questioned by some, it becomes necessary to enter into their merits, and examine their evidences. If, in doing this, we come into collision with particular opinions, we cannot help it. Our object is knowledge, and this we must give, regardless of one opinion or another. If we find Moses giving a better history of the world's origin and infancy, than any other historian, we shall adopt his history, not because it is his, but because it is the best; our object being, not the upbuilding of a religious system, but the diffusion of correct general information. It is contended by some who admit the Mosaic account of creation, that the six days in which he represents it to have occurred, are not necessarily to be understood as literal days, but as mere indefinite periods of time. Yet it would seem, from the circumstance of the evening and morning being mentioned as constituting those days, and likewise from the division between the light and the darkness, together with the heavenly bodies being ap pointed to measure time on the sourth day, that literal days must have been intended. The inquiry next arises, How came Moses or any other man to know respecting the creation, seeing no one could have been alive to witness it? We reply, that it could only have been known in the first instance by inspiration. Whether Moses received his information in this way, or whether it was revealed to Adam, and transmitted from him through the intervening generations to Moses, does not appear, nor is it material. Several objections have been raised against the Mosaic account of creation, which we will briefly notice. “If the world is but five or six thousand years old,” says one, “what could the Creator have been about from all eternity, before its creation?” We reply:—If we were omniscient, we could undoubtedly answer this question; but as we make no pretensions to such knowledge, we leave its solution to those who, by making this objection, thereby assuming to know what is appropriate

[merged small][ocr errors]

in such a case for the Deity, virtually claim omniscience themselves. We would remind them, however, that, unless they make the world absolutely eternal, they will find the same difficulty still; for, let them fix the period of its creation as far back as they please; let them assign to its existence as many millions of years as there are stars in the heavens, or sands in the seas; and beyond this immense period would still lie stretching off into infinity, a past, an undiminished eternity. The same question would still return: What could the Deity all the while have been doing during the etermity before creation?—a question which it would require the Deity himself to answer, and which, therefore, it is improper for man to ask, or to attempt to answer. It is objected again, that Moses represents God as taking six days to create the universe; whereas it would seem to be more in accordance with the attribute of omnipotence, to have described him as creating the whole at once. To this we reply, that we, no doubt, with our finite wisdom, should have created everything at once : a pretty good evidence, that infinite Wisdom did not so create, and consequently, that the account of Moses in this respect is correct. No one can doubt that Omnipotence could as well have created the world in a moment, as in six days, or in any period of time whatever. So might he have made the laws of nature altogether different from what they are, causing the earth to produce a

crop in a moment, instead of a season. But, for reasons'

to us unknown, he has seen fit to establish a different state of things—a progressive state. Reasoning, then, analogically, we should come to the conclusion, that the work of creation itself was progressive, and that the Mosaic cosmogony is the more entitled to credit, from its having thus represented the case. It is further objected, that the geological appearances of the earth indicate, that it has existed much longer than Moses allows. Remarking here, that this objection is not admitted to be valid, we will leave it without further comment, till we re-consider it under the head of geology. Once more. Not a little exception has been taken to the representation of Moses relative to the creation of light before that of the sun. But the single consideration, that light is a substance of itself, and that the sun is but an exciting body, developing it more luminously than it would otherwise appear, is sufficient to explode this objection. More on this point in the course of our geological investigations. On reviewing the progress of the subject thus far, we feel perfectly justified, as historians, in fixing the date of the world's origin, and the commencement of history, according to the testimony of Moses. And having, as we conceive, ascertained this important point, we will now proceed with our subject

It would seem, from the Mosaic account of the case, that there were in the first instance but one man and one woman, viz. Adam and Eve, and that from them sprang the whole human race. These names, Adam and Eve, do not signify man and woman, as we might naturally be led to suppose; but Adam means red, denoting that he was made of red earth, and Eve signifies the mother o all living. To the reality of this assertion, that Adam and Eve were the common progenitors of the human species, the case of the blacks has been urged as an obz jection. “How,” asks the objector, “ could Adam and Eve, who must have been either white or black, have had both kinds of children?” In treating of man under the head of natural history, we shall fully investigate this case, and shall clearly prove, that Moses, long ago as he wrote, must either have been inspired while penning this very statement, or else, that he must have understood natural history far better than do those who, even in this late, this enlightened age of the world, make this objection. We shall demonstrate, that there is not the least difficulty in the case;—that climate, that food, that inodes of life, that a thousand causes, conspire to produce physical changes in man;–and that the history

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Mythologists reckon four Apollos. The first and most ancient was the son of Vulcan, and the tutelary deity of the Athenians; the second was a Cretan, a son of one of the Corybantes, and is said to have disputed for the government of Crete with Jupiter; the third was the son of Jupiter and Latona, the daughter of Coeus the Titan; the fourth was born in Arcadia, and was called by the Arcadians Nomion, because he gave them severe laws. The principal of these was the son of Jupiter and Latona; and to him are ascribed the actions of all the rest.

Previous to the birth of Apollo, Juno, the wife of Jupiter, being jealous of Latona, sent the serpent Python to torment her. Latona finding no place of repose, Neptune compassionated her case, and raised the island of Delos from the bottom of the sea for her residence, where she became the mother of twins—Apollo and Diana, or the sun and moon. As soon as Apollo was born, he killed the serpent Python with his arrows; whence he was called Pythius.

Apollo was the god of the fine arts, of medicine. music, poetry, and eloquence. He was both the cause of disease, and the restorer of health. He taught divination and archery. By his father Jupiter, he was endowed with the gift of foreknowledge, and his oracles were in general repute throughout the world. That at Delphi was particularly so. All nations resorted to it to seek its responses; insomuch that it was called “the oracle of all the earth.” The priestess of this oracle was called Pythia, from Pythius, one of the names of Apollo; and sometimes Phoebas, from Phoebus, another of his names. She was supposed to be inspired by Apollo. The three legged stool on which she sat was denominated a tripod. Here was a temple dedicated to

him, the most famous in the world. They say (how


« PreviousContinue »