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nardly supposable, however, that Adam, and Abel, and Seth had never prayed before. But this at least is taught by the passage; that, as a general thing, prayer was not practised till then. Objections have been raised against various particulars mentioned in the foregoing. Who could have been Cain's wife How happened there to be a land of Nod 1 How happened it to be so long after Abel's birth, before Seth was born ? And who could have been the husbands and wives of Adam's children? To these queries it may be replied, that it is not said that Cain found his wife in the land of Nod. Nor is it said that that land was so called when Cain went thither. Supposing it to have borne that name when Moses wrote his account, this is all that is necessary. As to the time between the birth of Abel and that of Seth, Adam might have had a dozen daughters, for aught we know, during that period. And cme of those daughters must have been Cain's wife, and the others, the wives of Seth and other sons of Adam who had wives before there were any other females;– this circumstance alone justifying the matrimonial alliance of those so near of kin.
Our unusual press of matter this week, compels us to omit for once our Mythological department. Its place, however, will be found so well occupied by the introduction of another, and a most important department, that our readers will scarcely realise its omission. The subject of language is of very deep interest to all. And we are happy to be able to say, that the gentleman to whom we have entrusted its management, is one competent to do it justice. We anticipate, both for our readers and ourselves, great profit and pleasure in following him through the antique meanderings and intricacies of lettered history. The subject will be treated on a large scale, and ample time and space be afforded for the purpose. By these means, in the hands of our able correspondent, we hope to furnish the best view of the subject extant—a view which will not only be satisfactory to the public, but which will make our humble little sheet the resort of the student for information on this all important branch of knowledge.
For the Family Magazine. LANGUAGE.
The origin of language is one of the most interesting and instructive subjects in the range of literature. This predominance of interest does not arise more from the consideration that language is of itself the element and the material of which and by which all literature is created, than from the intrinsic attraction of the phenomena of language.
Intellectual language is of two descriptions—oral and written. Besides these, there is a natural language, used only to express certain passions, and which is spoken, as far as our evidence goes, alike by barbarian and civilised man—if not by the brute creation. Indeed, it is not difficult to conceive, that the natural language might have been the root of the oral and intellectual language, had not the oldest written history in the world represented Adam, the father of mankind, as in possession of the one as soon as the other.
Natural language, as we have defined above, is the language of passion or sensation; it is the cry natural to humanity in extreme joy, suffering, wonder, or despair. All the languages spoken on the earth have intermingled with them these common tokens of affinity. They form the basis of understanding between diverse tribes of the forest, or natives of far distant lands, and countries of a strange speech. Let acute suffering befal a human being resident in and a native of the Sandwich Islands, and the inhabitants of the coast of Labrador will understand the meaning of the cry which nature utters in its extremity, when wrestling with an agony that prompts the call cither for sympathy or succor.
The white man, a native of the most highly civilised countries, has no great difficulty in making the native Bushman of Caffraria understand that he is angry or pleased—that he suplicates or threatens—by the exertion of his vocal powers in making certain sounds. Hence interjections scarcely need an interpreter in any language. It has been held, with some degree of plausibility. that beasts possess this natural language in common with man—that when a lion roars in anger, every beast of the wild, as well as the birds of the air, know its import— that when a dog howls over his dead master, the horse will look mournfully apprehensive over the field, as if he knew something of the awful destroyer of animal life that was daily and nightly roaming through the world. It is not, however, our purpose, to fill this column with idle speculations: we have a higher, a tangible interest before us. The book of Genesis depicts the first of men, Adam, as in full and perfect possession of oral and intellectual language; indeed, the first of men could have had no human teacher. “He heard,” says this ancient history, “the voice of the Lord God, the great Author of language, and answered to his questionings. He named the classes and individuals of animated nature, as far as we know, with the skill of a Linneus, a Buffon, or a Cuvier. Will it be unphilosophical, then, to say, that language is the gift of God, immediately bestowed on man. as were the faculties of his being The new-formed intelligence, clothed in the wondrous modification of clay, through which a warm life blood flowed, and a thousand pleasurable sensations thrilled, found himself in possession of a vocal echo, not only to his sensations, but obedient to the behest of his reason, and the higher functions of his mind. This was oral language. The birds of lovely plumage and sweetest song might have paused awhile, as the music of the first human voices broke sweetly in upon their accustomed harmony. All speculations in regard to the primitive language— the root of every spoken tongue on earth—that which Adam received from God, and which he taught to Cain and Abel—may be considered, in general, as worse than useless. The history of written language, in this respect, is more approachable and susceptible of investigation, than that of oral language. To this rich and productive field we shall soon lead our readers, and strive, from the time-worn and musty records of antiquity, developed, as they lately have been, by the wonderful Champollion, to draw a map of the progress of written language:—and then follow its meandereings into the various provinces of literature. It is an engine of tremendous power. It paints in unequivocal hieroglyphics every hope and every fear that can be supposed to belong to any state of existence. It speaks comfort to the desponding, or shouts victory in the hour of triumph. It moves a nation with a whirlwind of passion. The ancients had this motto: Wor so vor Dei. We would say, that the voice of man has a strange and awsul magnificence of power.
Explanation of Words, PHRASEs, &c.
Hic Niger Est: HUNc TU, Roman E, caveto. Lat from Horace;—“He is a dark spirit; beware of him, O Roman.” Absit INvidia, Lat.—“Let envy be absent;” be not envious. * ABUNDAT DULcIBUs vitiis. Lat. from Quintilian. “He abounds with pleasing faults"—applied to authors in whose very i. are beauties. Ab UNo discE om NEs. Lat. from Virgil. “From one instance, learn the whole.” AB URBE cos pità. Lat. “From the founding of the city.” It signifies the era of the founding of Rome, and is abbreviated thus: A. U, C. A capite Ad cALcom. Lat. “From the head to the foot;” from the beginning to the end.
THE WALKing Philosophen. “The Frenchman, volatile and light, Aspires to wing the airin flight; The German, heavy and profound with nimble feet would trip the ground: Philosophers! do what ye will; But-Nature will be nature still.’” An intelligent correspondent, who was much pleased with the account of the Flying Philosopher, has favoured us with a drawing and description of what he esteems equally curious, and to which we have given the appellation of the Walking Philosopher. hey may thus be considered as companions. This article has, it seems, been very gravely detailed in a popular German Journal of Arts and Sciences; from whence our correspondent, who by no means claims any part of the honour of the invention, translates the following particulars:“The figure represents a man having on his head a balloon, to make him lighter for walking. Round his waist is a strong belt tightly fastened. To the belt are fixed four straps; two behind, and two before; with buckles to fastenthem in the ends of the straps before. The straps behind are twice the length of those before, which are not more than a foot long. Those behind are intended to pass through the holes in the end of the balloon, from whence they descend, to be fastened with the buckles to those which are before. The head of the balloon is thus fixed with due firmness to the person of him who bears it. “The end or head of the balloon is of a light wood; the balloon itself is of taffeta, made air-proof by means of gum-lac. A netting covers the upperpart of the balloon, but is collected into ten or twelve strings on the lower half. These strings are fastened at the end which is on the head. “If the balloon exceed six feet in diameter, it will diminish the weight of the person who bears it by one pound. If it be twelve feet in diameter, the diminution pf his weight will be nearly equal to fifty pounds. For every cubic inch of the contents of the balloon, one ounce is removed from the weight of the person who carries it. “As the inflammable air is liable to escape from the balloon, the person who wears it must carry a portion of iron-filings and sulphureous acid, of the zinc and muriatic acid, by the re-action of which substance on water in a bottle, inflammable air may be furnished to supply
the waste. A cock, with a pipe, is attached sor this purpose to the head of the balloon.
“Two oar-like instruments, covered with taffeta, are attached to the girdle of the walker, that he may aid his motion by plying them.” -
Such is the account by which our sketch of the Walking Philosopher was accompanied. We are not informed, however, either where or by whom the experiment has been tried; so that, for aught we know to the contrary, the invention may be merely theoretical. For our own part, being of British birth, and philosophers, issowenay be permitted to call ourselves, rather of the old than the new school, we cannot, with genuine German gravity, seriously advocate the practice.
Though we never had the honour to be ourselves incarcerated by a load of inflated bladders, destined to prove the future conveyers of comfort to oppressed human bowels, under the guidance of the sage apothecary, or some other equally sage, and perhaps more dexterous, old woman, the situation of those who have been thus freighted on a windy day, had not entirely escaped our attention; and we strongly suspect that, in spite of our Walking Philosopher's oar-like implements, should the rude breath of Æolus suddenly attack his balloon, he would not only be incommoded, as we have frequently beheld our friends, the bladderbearers, so as to be unable to proceed with any tolerable certainty, or even safety; but he would most probably be completely carried off his feet, and encounter the fate of the Flying Philosopher! Happy indeed, if the bursting balloon erected on his philosophical pericranium, should always prove sufficient to shield that luxuriant excrescence from bruise, fracture, or natural protuberances!—Anecdote Library.
CUSTOMS, MANNERS, CURIOSITIES, &c.
These wild, fantastic islands of the northern seas, which often come floating into the broad Atlantic, carrying in their atmosphere the chill of the arctic winter, are objects of wonder and interest. There was one singular circumstance connected with these icebergs that puzzled Philosophers, and made it difficult to account for their formation. They were invariably found to be composed of fresh water. The northern whalers and navigators have ever been in the practice of replenishing their water casks by extending spouts or flexible hose to the crevices of the iceberg, from whence small rills of the finest water are continually trickling.
The discoveries of Parry and modern navigators, however, leave little doubt on the subject of the formation of icebergs. There are two kinds of ice found at sea—one formed of salt water, which is loose and sriable, abounding in flakes or disconnected crystals, and forming the large fields of ice spreading over immense portions of the sea;-the other, the icebergs, formed of solid rock ice, of a bluish cast, transparent and pure. Worshippers.
There is no doubt that icebergs are formed on the coasts of islands and continents, by the melting of the pure snows and ice into a deluge of water, which rushing in
fresh and gelid streams into the bays and indentations of
the ocean, displaces the salt water, and freezes by itself.
Year after year adds to these accumulations, which may
be centuries in their formation. Meanwhile the waves
of the sea are not idle at the base of the crystal mount
tain: they eat their way into the foundation, until the
superincumbent mass plunges into the sea, and sails
away before the wind into the Atlantic, where, by the
action of the sun, it assumes strange and fantastic shapes
in the course of decay.
The FIRE - - - For the Family Magazine
The engraving above represents one of the devotees of the ancient religion of Zoroaster bowing before the perpetual flame, which they say was kindled by their great prophet and founder four thousand years ago. The Fire Worshippers had their origin in Persia in a remote age of antiquity. They are a singular people—and as their community and their religion have survived the shock of ages, and still exist, it will be interesting to recapitulate some of their wonderful peculiarities.
Compared with the mass of the heathen world, they are a people of pure morals—and when they were first founded by their prophet Zoroaster, their orderly lives, and their comparatively pure ceremonials of religion, contrasted strongly with the usual manners of idolatrous nations.
As the growth and power of this sect have been so well described in ancient history, and are well known to all, we will confine ourselves to what is known of their localities, manners and observances at the present time—referring briefly to a single struggle which they have made since the christian era to obtain the civil and ecclesiastical controul of Persia.
The specific gravity of the icebergs is so much less than that of water, that one tenth part of the bulk rides above the sea, so that an iceberg 2000 feet high, (as many of them are when they are first launched upon their final voyage,) will appear but 200 feet above the surface.
“Masses have been seen assuming the shape of a Gothic Church, with arched windows and doors, and all the rich di-pery that an Arabian tale would scarcely dare describe. Crystal of the richest blue tables, with one or more feet, and often immense flat-roofed temples, supported by round transparent columns, float by the astonished spectators.”
and cruel persecutions against the christians were carried on with bloody vigor. The cries of the persecuted having reached the ears of the Emperor, Theodosius the Great, of the Greek church, he offered them instant aid, and placed a king after his own mind over Persia. This was the last public attempt of this sect to obtain sovereignty. The Fire Worshippers now are called Guebers in Persia, and Parsees in India. The only place in which they are found in Persia, at the present day, is the city of Yezd, where four thousand families of them remain. In one of the trans-Caucasian provinces of the Russian empire, of which the city of Bakoo is the capital,
there is an abundance of naphtha, and near the city.
there is a burning sountain to which the Fire Worshippers of India and Persia resort. The Guebers call themselves Benhedi, or followers of the true faith. They worship one Supreme Being, whom they call the Eternal Spirit or Yerd. They regard light as the principle of goodness, and darkness as the principle of evil. They deny that they worship fire They regard it only as the emblem of Deity—and worship before it as a medium for the assistance of sense
only. Their holy book is called Zend-Aresta.
“Their veneration for the element of fire induces them to keep a sacred fire constantly burning, which they feed with odoriferous wood, both in their temples and in the private houses of such persons as possess sufficient wealth to afford the expense. In one of their temples at Bombay, Niebuhr asserts that he saw a fire which had burnt unextinguished for two centuries; and so jealous are they of the sanctity of fire, that they never even blow out a light, lest their breath soil the purity of the flame. As well as paying the honour of worship to the heavenly bodies, they firmly believe in the influence which they exert on the destines of this world and the lives of individuals, although they are for the most part in entire ignorance of those facts and theories respecting them which modern science has unfolded.” with regard to their lives, they are blameless. Their dispositions are mild and hospitable. They are remark: able for commercial enterprise, honesty, and general integrity. They drink wine—eat all kinds of meatyet live temperately. They are remarkable for chastity and conjugal fidelity. Divorce is forbidden by their
laws. Polygamy is allowed only in one case. When the wife has had no child during nine years after marriage, the husband may take a second wife. They do not bury their dead; they expose the bodies of the deceased on the towers of their temples, to be devoured by the fowls of the air. Watchers station themselves near §: body thus exposed, to note what part the birds first alight upon:and, from the ascertained fact, they gather some angu of the future state of the person whose body is exposed. In this authentic account of this wonderful people,
there are many things to awaken the interest of thepot lanthropist and the philosopher.
The Journal de Physique contains an interesting narrative of some travellers, who had the hardihood to descend the crater of Vesuvius, and examine its burning focus. Though the relation of their adventure is not charged with many facts, it is upon the whole interesting. The party was composed of several persons, assisted by the usual Neapolitan guides, called Lazaroni. They availed themselves of their carriages to the base of the mountain, where they arrived about midnight, when they proceeded to ascend its sides, mounted on mules, pursuing the usual track, one by one. Amid the thick darkness, the numerous guides, bearing lighted torches, gave to the whole cortége an air that would have been sufficiently solemn and mysterious, but for the gaiety and mirth which the buoyant spirits of the company otherwise remarkably contrasted with it. At about midway, the ascent becomes so steep and difficult, that travellers are obliged to alight, and make the rest of the journey on foot. All this upper half of the mountain being composed of lava, cinders, and ashes, this portion of the adventure is a work of real toil and fatigue. Accordingly, when they gained the edge of the volcano, at about half past two in the morning, they found themselves overwhelmed with perspiration, and perfectly exhausted; insuperable difficulties seemed now to present themselves to all attempts to make any nearer approach to the awful mysteries of the mountain, than the edge of the immense crater: the inside abyss extending by computation somewhat more than 5700 feet in circumference, has a perpendicular depth of about 200 more, forming a crater or cup, in the centre of which lie strewed inasses of recently glowing scoria and heated ashes, all diversely variegated, from among which the ignited vapours find a passage upwards through numberless rents and little
orifices. While the travellers were deliberating on the means of descending further, some stones that came rolling down from the higher edge of the crater occasioning a general agitation of the masses over which they passed, one of the party, Adjutant Dampierre, feeling at the same time the earth shake under him, was led to exchange his ground. He had scarce called to a companion, named Wicar, to follow him, when the entire portion of this part of the crater sunk down and disappeared. Soon after, still greater masses underwent the same change, the whole of the small eminences thereabout crumbling down successively; so that, in the course of half an hour, what had been the summit of the volcano was precipitated with an awful noise into the bottom of the crater. Dejected by difficulties that seemed an effectual barrier to their accomplishing the object of their journey, they had proceeded to satisfy their curiosity by making the circuit of the crater, when fortunately they discovered a long declivity, or rather a portion of the shelving sides of the crater, much less precipitous than the other parts: though deep, it was seemingly smooth, and conducted immediately to the focus, or burning issue of the volcano. Without waiting to examine whether there were any other difficulties, such as rents and precipices, which interposed between their curiosity and the innermost mysteries of the mountain, the ambassador's secretary, M. Debeer, taking a Lazaroni with him, set out first to traverse the passage; they had reached half of the descent, gliding down in a torrent of ashes, which their feet displaced as they moved on, when they found themselves at the edge of a precipice, about twelve feet deep, down the sace of which it was necessary to descend to reach a lower declivity. The Lazaroni here stood aghast, and refused to proceed. A speedy recourse, however, to the sign of the cross, and invocations to the Madonna and St. Anthony of Padua, giving him fresh courage, he threw himself, with the secretary, to the bottom of the precipice. Another cliff of less height interposed, but it was overcome with more ease and less reluctance. At length, amid torrents of rushing lava, ashes, and stones, that incessantly broke away from the declivity, they arrived at the bottom of the crater. Here, with outstretched arms and shouts of joy, that were answered by their more timid companions with satisfaction and enthusiasm, they cheered on the others to follow them. M. Houdonart, an engineer, was the next adventurer after M. Debeer. He encountered the same difficulties and dangers. Mr. Wickers, another of the party, hesitated when he came to the cliffs, but seeing that no assistance could be rendered him, he grew impatient and rushed down, amid similar floods of ashes, stones, and volcanic scoria, as his predecessors. Adjutant Dampiere, M. Bagnins, Physician to the Army, Mersrs. Tassinct and Andres, two French travellers, and M. Moulin, Inspector of Ports, next followed; these all arrived at the crater, after overcoming the same difficulties, and incurring the same dangers as the others. #. bottom of the crater, of which no correct conclusions can be formed when examined from above, is a vast field of rugged inequalities, made up of piles of porous lava, sometimes hard and firm, and sometimes extremely yielding and insecure; particularly just when the travellers reached the focus. The most interesing sight, however, of the whole, was the number of small orifices or vents very properly denominated spiracles, which, both at the bottom of the crater and on the interior face of the mountain, suffer the ignited vapours to escape. Their observations being finished, it was a business of some thought to get back again—the descent is far less labourious than the ascent. It is not easy to climb eminences where the supports for the feet are moving with every step; besides, ascending but by one at a time, it is necessary that persons should succeed each other at long intervals, for fear of burying under a torrent of volcanic matter those that followed them. Every tread displaces a mass of ashes through a circuit of thirty feet of the acclivity. On arriving at the two precipices, it was necessary to adopt the expedient of mounting on the shoulders of a man stationed at the bottom, to give necessary aid, while another standing at the top of the cliff, by means of a stick, was to help the person to scramble upward; he was to rest the feet, however, no where but with caution and gentleness. In this way, the summit of Vesuvius was again reached by each of the adventurers without accident, but in a state of exhaustion and fatigue, and covered with ashes and smoke. The six of the party who had not essayed this descent into the volcano, received their wearied friends with joy, supplying them with refreshments that were needsul to them. This excursion was made with no view more important, says the Journal de Physique, than to try the possibility of reaching the centre of the crater, and to show the practicability of the philosopher, the naturalist, and chemist, exploring at their leisure this great furnace of nature. The variety of matters that form the constituent elements of it afford an ample field for chemical research; from which, perhaps, might be elicited discoveries important in art or science.—The Tourist.
Use of Tobacco by The Hottentots.
“A Hottentot, (says Mr. Barrow, in his Travels,) applied some tobacco from the short end of his wooden tobaccopipe to the mouth of a snake while darting out his tongue. The effect was as instantaneous as an electric shock: with a convulsive motion that was momentary, the snake half untwisted itself, and never stirred more, and the muscles were so contracted that the whole animal felt hard and rigid, as if dried in the sun.”
He sleeps, and yet, around the sightless eye
Star of descending night! fair is thy light in the west! thou listest thy unshorn head from thy cloud: thy steps are stately on thy hill. What dost thou behold in the plain The stormy winds are laid. The murmur of the torrent comes from afar. Roaring waves climb the distant rock. The flies of evening are on their feeble wings; the hum of their course is on the field. What dost thou behold, fair light ! But thou dost smile and depart. The waves come with joy around thee: they bathe thy lovely hair. Farewell, thou silent beam! let the light of Ossian's soul arise!
And it does arise in its strength ! I behold my departed friends. Their gathering is on Lora, as in the days of other years. Fingal comes like a watery column of mist ; his heroes are around. And see the bards of song, gray-haired Ullin! stately Ryno Alpin, with the tuneful voice! the soft complaint of Minona How are ye changed, my friends, since the days of Selma's feast 1 when we contended, like gales of spring, as they fly along the hill, and bend by turns the feebly whistling grass.
“A little learning is a dangerous thing.”
Then make it greater. No learning at all is surely the most dangerous thing in the world; and it is fortunate that, in this country at least, it is a danger which cannot possibly exist. After all, learning is acquired knowiedge, and nothing else. A man who can read his Bible has a little learning ; a man who can only plough or dig, has less; a man who can only break stones on the road, less still, but he has some. The savages in one of the islands in the South Sea, stood with great reverence round a sailor who had lighted a fire to boil some water