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was completed with more nicety than usual: the jockey coat was exchanged for one of a London cut; and the spotted neckerchief was superseded by a cravat of the whitest muslin. Reports had already found their way to the principal tea-tables in the neighbourhood, and became still more general on his having, upon one occasion, escorted the lady through the high street. This circumstance, in short, was deemed conclusive. Successively related at each house, it gained an accession at every transfer, till it reached the parsonage at the end of the town, when suppositions were argumented into certainties, and appearances established as facts. The clergyman's wife issued a second edition, improved by her own addenda; and it was soon almost universally understood, that if Mr. Halworth and Miss Musgrave had not been already united in some other parish, the ceremony would be immediately performed in their
'When all this came to Harry's ears, he had but one reply to make: he honestly confessed that he liked Miss Musgrave, and was only sorry that the report was so great an exaggeration.
However," said he, "'tis a pity all this talk should be about nothing; so I'll e'en give them cause for a little more tattle, and make the young lady a regular offer."
'He did so and was refused. Neither was he rejected in the civilest way possible; and he subsequently heard that she had deemed his offer "bold" and "presumptuous."
Why, d-n it," said Harry, "I don't exactly see how I can have offended her, either; egad, I think I have paid her a very high cómpliment. Have I not broken my vow of celibacy on her account? Have I not offered her the dominion of my house? the possession of my ewes and lambs ?—I'll be a bachelor," said he, "for the remainder of my life."-pp. 242-245.
A short time after this affair, a detachment of infantry is stationed in the town, among whose officers was a Captain Sullivain, a mere St. James's Street soldier, and a lady's man in the most exquisite sense of that phrase. As Harry is one day waiting the arrival of his sister by the coach, he hears this personage, at that time a perfect stranger to him, addressing her, at the window of the vehicle, in a strain of impertinent familiarity.
'His blood rushed up in a moment! he held back a while to be fully assured of the fellow's purpose, and heard Miss Halworth desire him " to go about his business.”
"But, my love," said he, " my
business is with you.”
"First of all, Sir," said Harry, turning the dashing captain from the door of the coach by his collar-" first of all, Sir, you'll settle matters with me. I am a fitter person for your insult than that lady, for I can
"D-n it," said the warrior, "here's a fa-e-llow! And pray, Sir, who the devil are you?"
"One, who may prove a very devil, indeed, if you don't instantly take yourself off. Come, Sir, march! or I'll so soil your finery in that gutter, that your comrades won't know you again."
"I am a soldier—and—”
"So, I suppose, by your livery," said Harry, "though, from your manners, I very much question your right to the title."
"You are an impertinent scoundrel, I think," said the man-o'-war; "and, I trust, you do not imagine that I shall put up with your insolence."
"You'd better," said Harry; "it will be more easy to put up with than my resentment."
""Your resentment!" exclaimed the other, fumbling for his card
"Come, Sir," added Halworth, coolly, "take yourself off, while your epaulettes are on your shoulders. A little reflection will, I am sure, convince you that you have done nothing worthy of a soldier by insulting a woman.'
"It is not my way," said the son of Mars, "to argue the matter in the open streets. Here is my card-you will be kind enough to favour
me with your's."
"I don't carry cards," said Harry, laughing; "but if you wish to know my name and place of abode, I'll tell you: my name is Henry Halworth, of Halworth Hall, close by."
"I shall remember, Sir-here is my card; and you may shortly expect to hear from me.'
'Halworth took the card from him, and instantly tearing it in pieces, threw the fragments into the kennel. "We differ," said he, "in our mode of settling disputes."
"" Then," replied the captain, "I have but one alternative."
I guess at your intention," said Harry: "you mean to post my name up as that of a coward. Now, hark you, Sir. It is not in your power to hurt my reputation, either as a man of honour or courage. I neither choose to subject myself to the fallacies of military custom, nor do I think that by doing so, I should give any proof of bravery. My life, Sir, is valuable to others, and certainly of too much worth to be staked against your own, If I have done you wrong, seek legal redress. For my own part, I should as much object to trouble myself with a prosecution, as I now scorn to take advantage of that physical force which would enable me to shake the very soul out of you! But you know that the weakness of your cause is equal to your personal imbecility."
"Sir," said the other, interrupting him, "we shall meet again-or, at least "
'Halworth's patience was now exhausted. He seized Sullivain by the collar, and thus concluded the conference.
"Know, then, Sir-the lady whom you have insulted is my sister! she and her mother look up to me as to their only protector. You shall not rob them of that protector, depend upon it. Any communication from you will be treated with contempt; and, if you cast the slightest imputation upon my courage, by G-d, Sir, I'll break every bone in your skin!"'-pp. 247-250.
The characters here are at least spiritedly and forcibly drawn, if not with any remarkable fineness of touch. The author, in order to afford us the most favourable display of his powers, generally requires what we should call a few strong points of character to
deal with, and these he brings out with very considerable skill in all their breadth and prominence. Several of his other sketches are nearly as good as the one from which we have taken our extracts. We would particularly mention The Poachers,' and that entitled The Painter's Account of Himself,' as very graphically told.
ART. VIII-Conversations on Geology; comprising a Familiar Explanation of the Huttonian and Wernerian Systems; the Mosaic Geology, as explained by Mr. Granville Penn; and the late Discoveries of Professor Buckland, Humboldt, Dr. Macculloch and others. 12mo. pp. 371. London: Maunder.
THE Science of Geology is comparatively too new and imperfect as yet, to be reduced to that popular conversational form,, which has contributed so much to diffuse among our rising generations a knowledge of botany and of chemistry. Indeed, the name of science should not have been conceded to a pursuit, which is still far from being fixed upon any steady principles, or even upon any consistent theory. The minds of the various men who have given their attention to this subject, appear to have almost all arrived at different conclusions respecting it. Hardly any two of them agree in a sufficient number of inferences, to afford a fair foundation even for a plausible system. Researches have been enthusiastically pursued upon the Alps and the Pyrennees, upon the Appenine and the Andes; their vallies and caverns have been explored; the channels of rivers, the bed of the sea, the undulations of the desert, have been resorted to, in order to collect data for geological dissertations, but the results still continue to be unsatisfactory. Every new adventurer still returns with some fanciful notions of his own, which are strong enough in his opinion to overturn every thing that was imagined before his time. Having erected in his mind some darling scheme, he is much more anxious to make whatever facts he may have collected, conformable to his project, than to detail them with philosophical accuracy and candour. Had those persons who have made geology their study, contented themselves, like Saussure and De Luc, with examining into the structure of the globe, and with simply reporting their observations upon it, without attempting to account for their discoveries, the scientific world would at this moment be much better enabled to compare and classify them, and if not to mould them into one system, at least to reduce them to order. But as matters stand, most of the facts hitherto ascertained, appear to be in a state of anarchy.
The different strata which compose the surface of our planet, are, perhaps, better understood now than they were a century ago. But if we attempt to go one step farther, and ask how they happened to be arranged in their present positions, we are at once
thrown back to the ignorance of the dark ages, and are bewildered amid a world of conjectures. One geologist assures us, that every thing that we see on the face of the earth, was thrown up from its capacious and mysterious womb by the potency of fire. Another tells us, that the sea is the universal agent; that beneath its plastic power every rock was made, and those huge mountains which astonish us were lifted to the skies. A third proclaims that all these notions are mere absurdities; that the only true theory of the earth is to be found in the Bible, that it is useless for us to go beyond that supreme authority in our researches, and that all things which we behold appertaining to the structure of our globe, were fashioned by the hand of the CREATOR. Whenever a difficulty occurs, it is met by referring to His unquestioned power. Do we inquire why a flint is imbedded in a piece of chalk, we are desired to believe that it was the immediate work of the Deity!
Far be it from us to encourage the introduction of arguments or suggestions into this or any other scientific pursuit, which would tend improperly to lead the mind away from the Great First cause, the Fountain of all existence, to whom are finally to be referred all things around, beneath, and above us, in this boundless and wonderful universe, of which our planet forms a part. But when we turn our eyes downward on this earth, and then upward to the sun, and to the countless worlds by which he is surrounded, we must feel persuaded that the Divine Author of the creation acts, and has always acted upon general laws, calculated to produce the effects which are so consonant to His final purposes. We cannot imagine the Deity interposing by his immediate power to mould every pebble that is washed on the shore of so inferior a planet as ours; and although we do not affect to understand the phrase that "the Creator has impressed his laws " upon matter, we may, nevertheless, feel that His laws are in constant operation, and that there are multitudes of intermediate causes between those laws and the results which ultimately they produce.
The scriptures were intended to teach us geology no more than they were meant to instruct us in astronomy. We are not bound to believe that the sun stood still because we find it so stated in the Book of Joshua. It seems to us perfectly consistent with all the reverence that is due to whatever we find related in the Old Testament, concerning the creation of the earth, and its destruction by a general deluge, to push our inquiries into the structure and history of the globe, as far as our feeble faculties, and the dim lights which we possess, can enable us to do. It depends altogether upon the spirit that directs us, whether we make a good or an evil use of the information which we may obtain. But taking it for granted that there can be only one Final Cause for all things, to whom the creation, the disposition, and the surprising harmony of the universe are to be ascribed, we see no reason for fixing any limits to geological researches, which would not be equally applicable to geometry, or indeed to any other science.
Few subjects of investigation can be much more interesting to us than those connected with the composition and vicissitudes of the planet on which it is our lot to exist. Compared with the innumerable globes which roll in their various orbits around our sun, or suns of their own, this earth is, indeed, but a speck,—a mere ruin as it were on the shore of the universe. But to us who are cast upon its rocks, it is still a source of laudable and useful curiosity to explore the various inequalities by which it is marked, the soils of which it consists, the changes to which it has been subjected, and which from year to year it still appears to undergo. Before chemistry and mineralogy were brought to their present degree of perfection, geology was little more than a field for the wildest conjectures. Some hints have been afforded by both the sciences first mentioned, which have explained some things hitherto obscure, and opened a field to new classifications that were before unthought of. Nevertheless, a great deal still remains to be done in this sphere of inquiry, before it can be said to assume any thing like an intelligible and satisfactory form.
The conversations before us are calculated to do much good, because, however imperfect the state in which geology may be, they divest it of much of its repulsive technicality, and serve at least to place the young student in possession of the principal theories which are now floating in the scientific world. They laugh slily enough at the fancies of Burnet, who conceived that before 'the deluge of Noah, the earth consisted of a light crust or shell, of uniform thickness, with the waters of the sea under it; that there were no mountains, no valleys, but one smooth, unvarying surface over the whole earth; and that this crust, being broken up at the deluge, formed the rocks and mountains as they at present exist!' Woodward was scarcely less imaginative, and certainly not less absurd, when he asserted, upon his own authority, that 'the deluge was caused by all the solid parts of the earth dissolving, and forming a paste, among which the sea-shells were mingled by the agitation which then took place.' But how were the rocks dissolved? Their powers of cohesion were suspended! How suspended? To this question Master Woodward gives no answer. But ridiculous as were these theories of grave philosophers, they were wisdom itself compared with the theories of Whiston, who supposed that the deluge was caused by the tail of a comet; whereas we know that if a comet does any thing at all for us, it brings us fine weather; or of Descartes and Leibnitz, who maintained that our globe was an old sun, that had burnt out like the snuff of a candle; or of the great naturalist, Buffon, who held, that a comet passing too near the sun, lopped off a little corner of it, which said corner being melted by heat, formed the sphere of our earth, and is now, or at least was in his time, undergoing the process of cooling! What extravagant dreams!
But extravagant though they be, we might mention fantasies