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How great was the joy of Ossian, when he beheld the distant sail of his son! It was like a cloud of light that rises in the east, when the traveller is sad in a land unknown; and dismal night, with her ghosts, is sitting around in shades! We brought him, with songs, to Selma's halls. Fingal spread the feast of shells. A thousand bards raised the name of Oscar: Morven answered to the sound. The daughter of Toscar was there; her voice was like the harp, when the distant sound comes in the evening, on the soft-rustling breeze of the vale!
O lay me, ye that see the light, near some rock of my hills' let the thick hazels be around, let the rustling oak be near. Green be the place of my rest; let the sound of the distant torrent be heard. bo. of Toscar, take the harp, and raise the lovely song of Selma; that sleep may overtake my soul in the midst of joy; that the dreams of my youth may return, and the days of the mighty Fingal. Selma! I behold thy towers, thy trees, thy shaded wall! I see the heroes of Morven; I hear the song of bards! Oscar lifts the sword of Cormalo; a thousand youths admire its studded thongs. They look with wonder on my son; they mark the joy of his father's eyes; they long for an equal fame. And ye shall have your fame, O sons of streamy Morven! My soul is often brightened with song; I remember the friends of my youth. But sleep descends, in the sound of the harp! pleasant dreams begin to rise! Ye sons of the chase, stand far distant, nor disturb my rest. The bard of other times holds discourse with his fathers, the chiefs of the days of old ! Sons of the chase, stand far distant! disturb not the dreams of Ossian —Ossian.
EARLY PRINTiNg.—When first the Art of Printing was discovered, they only made use of one side of a page; they had not yet found out the expedient of impressing the other. When their editions were intended to be curious, they omitted to print the first letter of a chauter, for which they left a blank space, that it might be painted or illuminated, at the option of the purchaser. Several ancient volumes of these early times have been found, where these letters are wanting, as they neglected to have them painted.
When the Art of Printing was first established, it was the glory of the learned to be correctors of the press to the eminent printers. Physicians, Lawyers, and Bishops themselves, occupied this department. The printers then added frequently to their names those of the correctors of the press: and editions were then valued according the the abilities of the corrector
PATRoNs.—Authors have too frequently received ill treatment even from those to whom they dedicated their works.
Theodosius Gaza had no other recompense for having inscribed to Sixtus the Fourth his Translation of of the book of Aristotle on the Nature of Animals, than the price of the binding, which this charitable father of the church munificently bestowed upon him.
Theocritus fills his Idylliums with loud complaints of the neglect of his Patrons; and Tasso was as little successful in his dedications.
Ariosto, in presenting his Orlando Furioso to the Cardinal d’Este, was gratified with the bitter sarcasm of-" Where the devil have you found all this nonsense!”
When the French historian, Dupleix, whose pen was indeed fertile, presented his book to the Duke d'Epernon, this Mecenas, turning to the Pope's Nuncio, who was present, very coarsely exclaimed—“Cadedis ce Monsieur a un fluxe, enrage, il chie un livre tous les lunes 1"
It was Thomson, I believe, the amiable author of the Seasons, who, having extravagantly praised a person of rank, afterwards appearing to be undeserving of any eulogiums, very properly employed his pen in a solemn recantation of his error.
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 een received. Companies of four individuals, sending rivy dollans, current here, free of postage, will be furnished with four copios for on. ear. Companies of ten, sending ten poli. ARs as above, will !. furnished with ten copies. - As the sum of $1 50, which is the price of the Magazine to, a single subscriber, cannot conveniently be sent by mail. it will be nossary that two subscribers at least send payment in a letter together. - - | Schools adopting | Magazine will be supplied at one Do 1. l. Art Irer annuin sor each copy. The o on the 'i." is 3-4 of a cent under one hundred miles, and 1 cent and 1-1 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 in 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 sountry, 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 impor: tant to be jeoparded thus; and we shall therefore require polyment in air cases in Advascr. Our expenses are heavy, and those who have our paper must pay them, serio we have no money to throw away. 'Every reasonable man will at once perceive the porpriety and necessity of those terms. * - ** settos should be addressed thus: Editor of the Family
Magazine, 222 William Street, New York.
It would serve to gratisy the curiosity of the reader, were we to give a specimen of the Talmudic tales in this portion of history. We sometime since alluded to their representation of Adam. The following extracts from the “Curiosities of Literature” will give a fuller view of the nature of these tales.
“Adam's body was made of the earth of Babylon, his head of the land of Israel, his other members of other parts of the world. R. Meir thought he was taken from the whole earth; as it is written, ‘Thine eyes did see my substance.' . Now, it is elsewhere written, ‘The eyes of the Lord are over all the earth.' R. Aha expressly marks the twelve hours in which his various parts were formed. His stature was from one end of the world to the other; and it was for his transgression that the Creator, laying his hand in anger on him, lessened him ; for before, (says R. Eleazar,) with his hand he reached the firmament. R. Jehuda thinks his sin was heresy; but R. Isaac thinks (as my author expresses it, that “it was nourishing his soreskin.”
“They further inform us that he was an hermaphrodite,
having both sexes and a double body; the female parts joined at the shoulders, and back parts to the male; their countenances turned from each other. And this they prove by Moses' saying, ‘So God created man in his image; male and female created he them, and he called their name ADAM." Adam being solitary, cut himself in two, (a hint this to the managers for their pantomimes,) and sound himself fitted for procreation. Leo Hebræus thus reconciles the fable of Plato's Androgynus with Moses, from which he thinks it is borrowed. Plato relates that Jupiter, in the first forming of mankind, made them such androgini, with two bodies of two sexes joined in the breast, which he divided for their pride, the navel still remaining as a scar of the wound then made.”
There has been not a little speculation respecting the mark set upon Cain.
“The ridiculous conjectures upon this point have been almost without number. Some imagine that God imprest a letter on his forehead; and others have been so curious in their inquiries as to pretend to tell what the letter was ; a letter of the word Abel, say some ; the four letters of Jehovah, say others; or a letter expressing his repentance, say a third sort of writers. There have been some that imagined that Abel's dog was appointed to go with him wherever he went, to warn people not to kill him; but this does not come up to the humor of a mark set on Cain, and therefore other writers rather think his face and forehead were leprous; others, that his mark was a wild aspect, and terrible rolling eyes; others say that he was subject to a terrible trembling, so as to be scarcely able to get his food to his mouth, a notion taken from the LXX, who translate fugitive and vagabond, stenon kay tremon. And there are some writers that have improved this conceit by adding, that wherever he went, the earth trembled and shook round about him. But there is another notion of Cain's mark as good as any of the rest, namely, that he had a horn fixed on his forehead to teach all men to avoid him.”
“The length of the lives of mankind in this world was very remarkable. Moses numbers the years of some of their lives as follows:
NO. 9. Years. Adam lived - - - - - 930 Seth - - - - - - 912 Enos • - - - - 905 Cainan - - - - - 910 Mahalaleel - - - - - 895 Jared - - - - - 962 Enoch - - - - - 365 Methuselah - - - - 969 Lamech - 777
“Some persons have thought it incredible that the human frame should ever have endured so great a period; and for that reason they suppose that the years here mentioned are but lunar, consisting each of about thirty days; but this scheme, under a notion of reducing the antediluvan lives to our standard, is full of absurdities. The whole time of this first world would at this rate be less than 130 years. Methuselah himself would have been little more than eighty years old, not so longlived as many even now are. The persons above-mentioned would have had children when mere infants. Besides, if we compute the ages of those who lived aster the Flood by this way of reckoning,and we have no reason from the text to alter, they will not amount to the years of a man. Abraham, for instance, who is said to have died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, was, as Moses writes, 175 years old ; but according to the notion of lunar years, he could not be fifteen.—The years, therefore, that Moses computed these men's lives by, were solar years, of much the same length as we now compute by,and there must have been some reason in their state and constitution, and in the temperament of the world they lived in, to give them that exceeding length of days which they were able to come up to. Their houses of clay could stand eight or nine hundred years; when, alas ! those we now build of the hardest stone or marble scarcely last so long.
“The curiosity of the learned in all ages has been much employed in finding out the reasons of this longevity. Some writers have attributed it to the simplicity of their diet, and to the sobriety of their living;both of them, indeed, excellent means to support nature, and to make us able to attain our utmost period, but not sufficient to account for so vast a difference as there is between our and their term of life. We have had moderate and abstemious persons in latter ages, and yet they have very rarely exceeded one hundred years.
“Other writers have imagined the length of these men's lives to have been owing to the strength of their stamina; they think that we are made of more corrupti ble materials, of a nature not so strong as these men were, and therefore cannot last so long as they did: but this cannot be the sole cause of their long lives—for if it were, why should the sons of Noah, who had all the strength of an antediluvian constitution, fall so far short of the age of their forefathers ? This and the mannel of the decline of our lives led a very ingenious writer to imagine that this alteration of the length of humar life was in a great measure owing to a change of the temperament of the world; that the equality of the sea sons and evenness of weather in the first earth were, is a great measure, the cause of that length of life en joyed by the inhabitants of it; and that the vast con trariety of the seasons and weather which we now have is a great reason for the shortness of our days.”
MINERWA. For the Family Magazine. Mythology gives a wonderful birth to this powerful
goddess. One authority states that Jupiter, through grief at the prospect of Juno's barrenness, smote his forehead, which aster some months swelled and throbbed with strange sensations. A blow from Vulcan's hatchet opened his eranium, from which leaped a goddess fullgrown, armed in a formidable manner. Minerva was the tutelar deity of Athens, and her character is invested with much of the ideal beauty and stern splendor of the Athenians. In her appearance, she is represented as tall and majestic, crowned with a head-piece of gold, and the crest of a warlike helmet. In one hand she grasps a standard-spear or javelin; in the other she holds her gorgon-headed shield. Her robes, resembling those of a female, are still the rough defences of the warrior—yet the olive-wreath, the symbol of peace, may be seen on her temples. She was the goddess both of wisdom and of war. The cock, the owl, and the basilisk were sacred to her, and symbolical of her attributes. She was known by the names of Athena, Pallas, Parthenos, Tritonia, Ergatis, Musica, Glaucopis, and Pylotis. It is supposed that the word Minerva was derived from a minis, (diminishing,) as her connection with the art of war diminished the number of men, and weakened the strength of families, cities, and states. The Greeks called her Athena, either on account of her being motherless, having never nursed the maternal bosom, or from her skill in divine affairs, or from her wise freedom and independence. Liber memo est nisi sapiens : No one is free unless wise. She was called Pallas, most probably either from her exploit in killing the giant Pallas, or from the lake of that name where she was first seen by men, or from the peculiar manner in which she brandished her spear, expressed by the Greek participle. She was called Parthenos on account of her virginity—hence the beautiful temple erected to her worship in Athens was called the Parthenon. Indeed, so guarded was her chastity that Tiresias was said to have been deprived of
his sight because he saw her bathing in the fountain ot Helicon. She was called Musica from having invented the Pipe, and because the serpent-haired Medusa on her shield, gave out tones, as she moved along, like the strings of a harp. She bore the name of Ergatis on account of having invented various kinds of work— particularly the art of spinning. She prided herself in her skill in spinning, and when she was beaten in this her boasted art by Arachne, a young lady of Lydia, the goddess tore her work, and struck her on the forehead with a spoke of the spinning wheel. Driven to despair, Arachne went out and hung herself; but Minerva, half relenting, restored her again to animation, and gave her the form of the spider, that perpetual and exhaustless spinner. Says Ovid;— “Arachne thrice upon the forehead smote, Her great heartbrooks it not; about her throat A rope she ties: remorseful Palias staid Her falling weight—live, wretch! yet hang, she said.” The manner in which she obtained the Gorgon's head to her shield, was briefly this:—Medusa, one of the Gorgons, a sea nymph, whose hair was living threads of gold, was present in the temple of Minerva, and, disregardful of the chastity of the place, received the amorous addresses of Neptune. Minerva immediately changed the golden hair that had so tempted the sea-god, into bristling snakes, and decreed that those who should afterwards gaze upon Medusa, should be turned into stone. This Gorgon now became an object of such general detestation and horror, that her extermination was decreed by gods and men. Perseus, a prince of Argos, was despatched for this purpose, being aided by Mercury with a scimetar and the wings from his heels, by Minerva with a shield polished like a mirror, and by Pluto with a helmet that rendered him invisible. Thus equipped, Perseus found Medusa in Spain, placed before the mirror-shield, and while she was gazing in it at her own features, he cut off her head. Perseus presented the head to Minerva, who placed it on her shield, where it still retained the power of turning the beholder into Stone. There was a singular performance in honor of Minerva which was exhibited on the banks of the lake Triton by companies of virgins, before assembled multitudes of the inhabitants of the adjacent territories. These virgins were armed with clubs and stones, and, on a signal being given, fell furiously upon each other. She who was first killed, was not esteemed a virgin— her body was thrown into the lake in disgrace; but the one who received the most and the deepest wounds, and and yet fought the longest, was borne home in a triumphal chariot, amidst songs and acclamations. When Cecrops, the founder of Athens, was about building that city, which should rule the world through long ages by the power of its wisdom, eloquence, and genius, no less than by the power of its arms, Neptune and Minerva had a sharp contention about what name to bestow upon it. It was decreed by the gods that the one who should bestow the most useful gift on the citizens, was to have the honor of giving the city a name. Neptune gave a horse as his gift, but the wiser Minerva caused an olive tree to spring out of the earth, and having the preference, she gave her own name, Athena, to the capital of Attica, It was here in this proud seat of ancient art and literature and eloquence and philosophy, that the worship of this deity was attended with the most imposing pomp and circumstance. The Parthenon was a faultless specimen of architecture. It braved the storms of centuries, and has shown its peerless ruins to modern eyes. Within this temple there was a statue of Minerva, from the chisel of the immortal Phidias, thirty nine feet in height, formed of ivory and gold. The entire temple was filled with groups of statuary, representing not only the modes of her worship, but the forms, features, customs, &c. of the Greeks in the height of the glory of that polished city, The Panathenae was a great religious festival celebrated in honor of Minerva in the city of Athens in the month of June. The principal inhabitants throughout Attica crowded to Athens with numerous victims for the sacrifices. Games, horse-races, and wrestling matches amused the crowd, while the songs were but the rehearsals of mighty deeds, and the wise achievments of the great Athenian people. An olive wreath crowned the victor at these games. The whole scene was concluded by an imposing procession to the sublime Parthenon, and a sacrifice. First in the long and solemn march were seen old men of venerable forms with branches of the olive in their hands—next came the firm warriors of middle age, glittering in their polished armor, and after them the youth of both sexes under twenty years of age, the boys in plain garments, the girls dressed with simplicity, carrying as their offering baskets of cakes and flowers. Foreigners were not considered equal in dignity to the native Athenians, yet they were seen in these processions carrying folding seats for the girls of the honorable Athenian families to sit on, and umbrellas to shade them from the sun. Musicians of every grade, and those who sang the immortal strains of Homer in a loud recitative, made the air resound with their harmony. When the whole had reached the temple, a magnificent sacrifice ended the solemnity, and the crowd dispersed to their various scenes of mirth and festivity. Minerva was graceful, but of a severe aspect. She owned little submission to any power in earth or heaven. She hurled the thunderbolts of Jupiter, and roamed almost unquestioned through the Empyrean, as well as through the visible creation. She is sometimes represented as wearing the Gorgon's head on her breast-plate rather than her shield. She was the high personification of ancient wisdom. Born from the brain or intellect, she was an equal arbiter in the concerns of gods or men.
LITE RATUR E.
For the Family Magazine. LANGUAGE. There was ever a sharp controversy between the Egyptian and certain of the Phoenician nations respecting their comparative antiquity, each claiming the honor which was supposed to belong to the primeval nation and language of the world. When some philosophers broached the opinion, that an infant child, taken from its mother's breast, and brought up without hearing the sound of the human voice, would, when it had reached the age of speaking, speak the primeval or earliest language, it was immediately tested by Psammatichus, King of Egypt. He committed two children, taken soon after their birth, to a shepherd, to be brought up on goat's milk, to be kept in solitude, and never to hear the shepherd's voice, or that of any human being. At the end of two years, the shepherd, when he visited them, was surprised to see them both reach out their hands to him as if they wished something, and give utterance to the syllable, bec, bec. This was so often repeated that he made report to the king, who, having referred the word to learned men, was chagrined to learn that the word bec meant bread in the Phrygian language, thus casting a doubt upon the boasted fanguage of Egypt in regard to its being the mother language of mankind. As this circumstance cannot be received by scientific men or accurate philologists as evidence in the case, we proceed to gather up the suffrages of antiquity in favor of the Hebrew language. Jerome, one of the ancient christian fathers, says, in his Comment. in Soph. c. 3. fol. 100, A. that the Hebrew tongue is the mother of all languages—at least of the oriental ones. The celebrated Albert Schultens, srom his vast researches in oriental literature, brings back the report that the primeval language was the Hebrew ; although he classes the Chaldean, the Syriac
and the Arabic as sister dialects. The Targums of Rabbins Jonathan and Onkelos call the Hebrew the holy tongue that was created at the beginning. The claim of the Armenians living around the mountains of Ararat, that theirs was the primeval language because Noah landed from his voyage over the deluge ocean in their territories, is ill founded, as there were no Armenians then living there to learn Noah's language, and they offer no direct proof that Noah or any of his family remained and multiplied in the immediate vicinity of that wild and stupendous mountain chain. The names of the first men upon earth, or those ad
•mitted to be the first by the common concurrence of
history, written or traditional, are Hebrew names, and could not have belonged to the other oriental languages, because each name had a meaning distinct from its arbitrary one, as the name of a person simply, which was peculiar to the Hebrew language. It is true that the Syrian language was of great antiquity. We find it used at the ceremony of ratifying a covenant between Laban the Syrian and Jacob the Hebrew, as related Gen. xxxi. 46, 47.—Laban called the heap of stones by a Syrian name, and Jacob called the heap by a Hebrew name, being both of the same meaning. %. the evidence of antiquity preponderates in favor of the earlier origin of the Hebrew language. It is susceptible of historical proof, that the present He brew letters had their names before Cadmus was born, and 1450 years before the birth of Christ. As we have seen that pictorial language in the common course of human improvement precedes written or alphabetical language, we may derive an argument from this circumstance in favor of the primitive and unborrowed character of the Hebrew letters. It is ascertained that the name of every letter in the Hebrew Alphabet has a meaning distinct from its alphabetical one, and that the figure of the letter resembles the thing originally expressed by the name. Thus for instance, the word Aleph, the name of the first letter in the Hebrew Alphabet, means an or, and the figure of the letter resembles the outline of the head, horns, and shoulders of that animal: the name of the second, Beth, means a house—the shape of the letter showing the foundation, one side, and the flat roof of the Hebrew buildings: Gimel means a Camel, with a resemblance in the shape of the letter, &c.—and so on throughout the alphabet. There is one remarkable circumstance in this connection which proves the antiquity of the square Hebrew letters: the letter Vau is shaped like a hook, and the term Vau means hook in the Hebrew. In the writings of Moses, Exodus xxxvii: 10, the hooks of the tabernacle are called vaus—proving that that letter at least, at so early a date, resembled a hook. Although the Jewish Rabbies have many confident assertions in their writings and traditions, that the Hebrew language was spoken and written before the flood, yet phiolologists would rather find more disinterested testimony. They ascribe the art of writing to Adam: the Talmuds speak of the first book of Adam,-aud likewise mention a book composed by Abel, the son of Adam, as well as the prophecy of Enoch, which is quoted by the evangelic writer, Jude. Alexander the Great, while engaged in the conquest of the world, wrote from India to his renowned preceptor Aristotle in the following words:— “When I came to such a place in India, the natives told me that they had with them the sepulchre of an ancient king that ruled over all the world, whose name was Cainan, the son of Enos, who, foreseeing that God would bring a flood upon the earth, wrote his prophecy of it on tables of stone, and they are here;—the writing is Hebrew writing.” Philo, the Jewish historian, as quoted "...o. in his commentary on Daniel. regarded the Hebrew and Chaldaic as one language—as their alphabets were the sanne.
The boiling springs of Iceland are among the most sublime as well as beautiful objects of nature. They have been well described by several travellers; by the help of whose accounts we propose now to give a general idea of these magnificent objects. The principal of these springs are situated in the south-western division of the island, about thirty-six miles from the celebrated volcano, Mount Hecla, and about twelve miles from the village of Shalholt. The steam arising from them during their eruptions, has been seen at the distance of sixteen miles. The springs mostly rise in a plain, near the base of a low range of hills. Many break out from the sides of the hills, and some very near their summits. Above a hundred of them are contained within a circle of two miles. Three or four of the principal of these springs are distinguished by the name of Geyser, which is said to be the old Scandinavian name for a fountain. The two which are most remarkable have been called the Great Geyser, and the New Geyser. n approaching the Great Geyser, when in a quiet state, it presents the appearance of a large circular mound, from the middle of which a quantity of steam is seen to rise. On ascending the side of this mound, there appears a spacious basin, partly filled with hot water, as clear as crystal, and moved by a gentle bubbling. In the centre of the basin there is a round pipe or sunnel about eighty feet deep, and eight or ten feet in diameter, but widening near the top, and opening very gradually into the basin, which is about 150 seet round ; and, when sull, the water it contains is about sour seet deep. The inside of it exhibits a whitish surface, consisting of a flinty crust, which has been rendered smooth by the constant action of the boiling water. The mound consists entirely of matter deposited from the water, which is always flowing over the edges of it. On leaving the mound, the hot water passes through a turfy soil, and, by acting on the peat, mosses, and other vegetable matters, converts them into stone, and affords beautiful specimens of petrifaction. The eruptions take place at very irregular intervals. They are announced by loud explosions in the bowels
of the earth, like reports of cannon, which shake the ground, and warn the visitor to remove from the spot. The water at the same time begins to boil more and more violently ; and at last, the contents of the basin are suddenly projected into the air; successive jets follow irregularly, till a magnificent column of water ascends to a great height, surrounded by immense volumes of steam, which in a great measure hide the column of water from the view. The scene at this period of the eruption is indescribably grand. The whole surrounding atmosphere is filled with volumes of steam rolling over each other as they ascend, and through which, columns of water, shivering into foam, are seen spreading in all directions. Much of the water is lost in vapour; but the greatest part falls to the ground in heavy showers of spray. As the jets rise out of the basin, the water reflects the most beautiful colours;—sometimes the purest and most brilliant blue; at others, a bright sea-green: but in the further ascent, all distinction of colour is lost, and the jets, broken into a thousand parts, appear as white as snow. Some of them are forced upwards perpendicularly, but many are thrown out in beautiful curves. The eruption thus continues, changing its form at every instant, till the force which drives it from beneath is exhausted. The water then subsides through the pipe, and disappears, but immediately rises again, and fills the basin to the extent already mentioned; and in this state it remains till the next eruption. At a short distance from the Great Geyser is situated the New Geyser, also called, from its continual noise, the Roaring Geyser. By the natives it is called Strockn, a word which literally means “a churn.' The eruptions of this spring differ hittle from those of the Great Geyser, except in their smaller size. Dr. Henderson states the singular circumstance, that, by throwing a quantity of large stones into the pipe of Strockn, he could at any time bring on an eruption in a few minutes; and that the fragments of stone, as well as the boiling water, were thrown in that case to a much greater height than usual. It remains to notice the simple and ingenious way ly
The gnawing tooth of time that corrodes