Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

vol. 2.)

Adventures of a Pebble ; by an Anti-Geologist.

261

From La Belle Assemblee, August 1817.

GEOLOGY.
ADVENTURES OF A PEBBLE ; BY AN ANTI-GEOLOGIST.

Imitated from the French, “L EARKEN unto me, ye disciples of molicules composed a quantity of

of Geology,” said a Pebble to a imperceptible liule drops, these soon belearned sage, as he kicked him before bim came large drops, and falling on the with his foot, crying, “() Pebble, Peb- crystalline parts covered the globe to the ble, canst thou tell whence thou art ?" thickness of several thousand feet above

“0, learned philosopher !” continued the highest mountains, and crowned the Pebble to the astonished scholar, “I them with new watery crystallizations. am a fragment from one of the mountains "I have just told you how water was of Africa; millions of ages before this first produced, but now I must make it terrestrial globe was covered with ver- appear how those waters were dispersed dure, the mountain to which I belonged, that covered the islands and the contias well as all this planet, were reduced nents; but on this subject I declare I am into aërial matter, and we came I know as ignorant as yourself. I have often not whence. After having a long time heard some learned people say, as they rolled amidst the firmament, uoder the are walking along, that those superaform of vapours, our particles coagulated, bundant waters were imbibed by other the affinities performed their functions, planets; you do not believe in that sys. and we became crystallized; for it is fit tem, and you are right; for if those that thou shouldst be informed that every waters had been carried off as they say, thing in nature is crystallized; crystallie our poor moon, who is so dry in berselt, zation has produced every thing ; plains, would not get a drop. They must, valleys, mountains, vegetation, animals; therefore, have taken some other road. and ihou, most learned scholar, art only Other learned people pretend that our a grain of crystalline salt.

globe, becoming gelid fell in, in some “ Our crystallization was neither watery parts, and that the waters passed through nor igneous, it was aërial. Our primary the breaches. You have admired these molicules was formed of atoms, our evasions, but you are terrified if you find atoms of secondary molicules. The an ocean under your feet, and you take specific weight of divers parts not being the most prudent part when you say, equal, a precipitation took place towards These waters come to me; but when our centre, in consequence of the laws of they go away I know not where they go, attraction and gravity ; for Newton says and it concerns me not: let us not inthe difference is not worth a pin's point. vestigate farther.'

“I know that the formation of moun: “But I was born in Africa ; I find tains has puzzled the wbole of your frater- myself now at Suréne, and how came I nity: a pack of weak-headed fellows there? I must tell you the whole of my have pretended that one half of them travels. Perhaps, on my bare word, are volcanos, and that they have all you will not believe me. I will speak craters on their summits. Wretched then only from the testimony of the kind of theory! It was crystallization learned. When the tide goes out, to that formed all these mountains, next depart I cannot indeed tell you where, it moss, then grass, then thistles, polypuses, causes a great commotion on this teroysters, and last geology. The moun- restrial globe. It carried off all the tain then to which I belonged, formed, strata of my mountain, and quite overwith myself, but a small part of this throwing it, precipitated it to the bottom crystallized globe: and we were very of the Atlantic Ocean. Granites, porphyry, dry, for water had, as yet, formed no parget stones, all were overthrown, conpart of our hemisphere. But with time founded, and rolled over by the waves of that element was soon formed ; millions the sea. I was at that time a respectable

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

fragment, my form was angular and irre- years, and at length entirely retired a gular, and I was about tiity pounds in few hundred centuries after: it returned weight. Bul, according to the proverb, a second time, and learned people assert, a rolling stone gathers no moss, continual thit it probably will return a third time. friction wore me away, and I am now no Be that as it may, I have not travelled bigger than a pigeon's egg: and pray, any more; I remained hid in a corner, what traveller is there who wouid not and the waves passed over my head have become thia during so long a without carrying me away wiib them : voyage ?

and here I shall probably remain for “When I fell into the sea I did hope ages 10 come, if you do not take me I should have had some little time given away to place me in your cabinet of me to rest myself, and to recover my fall; curiosities, or if the glass manufacturers but I was soon driven by a south easterly do not break me up to make a smelling current and carried to Brazil. The bottle of me. current then taking a new direction “ If such a misfortune should not befal towards the north, I ranged along the me, what will become of me? What will coast of Brazil and Guianne; I was a become of this globe in a million of cenlittle put out of my way by the mouths turies to come? Thou who art bold of the rivers Amazon and Oronooko. I enough to outstrip the works of creation, passed the island of 'Trinidad, and glided thou durst not take one step into the in with a gentle breeze to the Antilla abyss of futurity. Thou pretendest to Islands. I then advanced towards the know exactly how the universe is formed, west, doubled Yucatan, was whirled as to terrestrial principles, but thou art about in the Gulf of Mexico, saluted as utterly ignorant of what will happen toI crossed the great Mississippi, passed morrow! Ilearken then, and beattentive, along the southern coast of Cuba, and I speak after the manner of the learned, when I had doubled the cape of the two and the predictions of a stone are as Floridas, I traced back my road to the likely to be accomplished as those of a north. I viewed all those countries that geologist. in three thousand years after would “Oysters and muscles make use of hear the name of Georgia and the two water in forming their shells; this water Carolinas. I carefully avoided the great can never again become a liquid, therebay of Chesapeak, in which I should fore there is so much lost on the part of have been ingulphed to all eternity, but the ocean. One day or other there will I gained the Island of New York, and be so many oysters, star-fish, corals, rolled rapidly towards the mouth of St. limpits, and other shell fish, that there Lawrence, from which I was distant not will be scarce a drop of water left in the much more than a hundred leagues, basons of the sea. The globe will then when Cape Cod again threw me into the he dry and take fire: this fire will cause main ocean.

a general analyzation of all substance ; “ You may easily guess that I was bodies will be turned into aërial fluid, driven along that terrible current called we shall become nebulous nitre, we shall the Gulf stream ; I continued to measure be crystallized anew, to burn and disthe fathomless depths of ocean in the solve again through millions of ages; direction of north east, I arrived very and the learned, astonished at the conmuch fatigued and greatly diminished at tinual occupation of nature, occupied, it Cape Lizard, which made me deviate to is true, like Penelope, in doing and unthe south east; but an extraordinary doing, will cry out, at usual, .What is tide drove me an hundred leagues in the the use of all this?'” twinkling of an eye, and I was cast So spoke the Pebble, and the reader against a coast which at a future day was may be ill natured enough to say it spake to produce the escellent wine of Suréne. foolishly: in the mean time, I can assure

“ This place was not then a shore, them that such is very frequently the For several thousand years the sea absurd manner of arguing of many of covered France and all Europe; but it our geologists.

S. G. only sojourned for several other thousand

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

SUBSTITUTE FOR FRUIT IN PIES, PUDDINGS, &c.

From the Monthly Magazine.

SIR,

less a quantity than 5lbs. for each gaTHE article of rhubarb (the rheum thering, repeated three times per week,

palmatum), has been so lately in- and continued for a period of five months, troduced to our horticultural list, that its making a total weight of 300lbs. This nerits, as an important addition to the amount, divided by eighteen, the pumluxuries of the table, have not yet been ber of square yards, yields the extraorduly appreciated. First comes igno- dinary produce of 16lbs. to the yard, or rance, then prejudice, then experience, thirty-four tons and a half per acre; and and then conviction ; and an article, an is perhaps not to be equalled by any aropinion, or a practice, which shall attain ticle whatever, either in our fields or its full tide of popularity within fifty gardens with the exception of the years from its first recommendation, has Swedish turnip, and the mangel wurzel. more than its proportionate share of good- Cobbett says he had 117 tons of these luck. Parmentier spent the greatest turnips on 3 acres (bulbs only) which is part of a long and active life in proving 154lbs. per square yard; and of the other the inestimable value of the potato ; and he had fifty tons per acre, which is 23lbs. yet, after all, our friend Cobbett has per yard. declared it to be, "a worse than useless. The rhubarb is sold in our market in article ;” and he was an extensive and lots, or small bundles, at about threeexperimental farmer. Happily for our pence per ib. which, by my estimate, is country, and for the world, it is now after the rate in value of four shillings established by universal consent and per yard, or nearly 1,0001. per acre. highly-rated approbation !

Supply creates demand, and this, in its In the spring of 1815 I purchased turn, ensures supply; the consumption twelve roots of rhubarb, and plapted them might thus soon become immense : for in my garden, so as to occupy about the the London market alone it would be alspace of eighteen square yards; what most incredible. I am aware of the diftheir age was at that time I do not know. ference between garden and field proThe soil is very light and dry, and the duce; but I also know that there are exsituation elevated and cold, or at least it tensive districts within reach of our maris fully exposed to the northern winds. ket (the vale of Evesham for instance), The depth was made by digging what whence the supply is not only a month we call two spades graft, and a reasona- earlier than froin our gardens, but is likeble quantity of stable manure was put to wise more abundant, perhaps by one each root; since which they have been third, than any trouble and expence can left to themselves-except that they have ensure from our comparatively barren been well watered during the spring soil. It will be understood, that the months; and, more or less later in the quantity mentioned, refers entirely to the season, with the soap-suds produced from stem or eatable part of the plant, leaving our washing-tubs, and the emptying of the fine luxuriant leaves, three feet in the pols-de-nuit. The first season their diameter, to meet other purposes: I am produce was considerable, the second no agriculturist, but have been informed abundant, and the present so extraor- that pigs and cattle will feast upon them; dinary as to induce the wish to make it and I see no reason to doubt the asserpublicly known through the medium of tion, nor to suppose that the leaves your widely circulating miscellany. would not be as salutary as they are

Not having intended to make any cal- abundant, weighing as they do opon an culation of their produce, I suffered the average more than the stalks. Neither season nearly to pass before I began any does my experience inform me what adclose observation; but think myself war. vaotage can be made of the roots, except ranted io now saying, that, by the end of that I believe they possess every property the present month, I shall have had no of the foreign article, which our itineraat

[ocr errors]

Memoirs of Eminent Persons-Werner, the Geologist.

(vol. 2

Turkish merchants sell us at half a crown must be pernicious. The stems that an ounce. It may be that our produce have germinated, I have cut down early, is not quite so powerful, in its medical and this part is as eatable as the other. qualities, but a little addition to the In one instance I suffered the seed-stalk quantity would make it equally useful to grow to the height of four feet, but the

I intend next spring to have the roots plant seemed to be much injured by cutexamined, and expect to find that by ting it then; it has since so far recovered separating them I shall gain an addition itself as to shoot vigorously, but in numof fresh plants, improve the old beds, berless small stems, and it appears to and find a considerable supply for the me to operate as compelling the plant druggist's shop. My stalks run gene- to supply two crops in one season, which rally from four to eight ounces, a con- must necessarily exhaust it. siderable portion of them not less than I have been told that in the west of iwelve ; and my ambition has this morn- England the article is scarcely knowo, ing been gratified by one reaching the and it may be the case in other extensive extraordinary weight of a full pound; quarters : a few words of farther inforand the same plant has five or six re- mation may, therefore, not be amiss for maining stems of nearly equal mag- such as are totally unacquainted with the nitude.

subject. For pies and puddings it is I have three sorts—the first with hardly to be distinguished in the taste sharp-pointed leaves and green stems, from green gooseberries; and I have and this is the most fruitful; the second never known a case of its being disliked round-ended leaves, the stems slightly either by young persons or old. It may, zinged with red ; and the third, what be preserved as gooseberries during the passes here by the name of the Turkey winter, and thus produce an excellent sort, with scolloped leaves, pretty simi. conserve for children, to be eaten with lar to Apollyon's wings, in my old Pil- bread. In its medicinal properties it is grim's Progress; but in produce this slightly cathartic, just sufficient to renamounts to not more than half of the der it highly suitable for the feverish others,

heats of summer; and in no instance The only precaution I have taken in have I found its free use to be at all onthe management has been, oot to take comfortable. We take none of the skin too much at one time from any one from the stems, as the little toughness is root: some gardeners wrench the stems lost in the cooking, and we fancy that an from the roots, but I prefer cutting them additional sharpness in the taste is thus as close as it can be done, as I appre- communicated.

J. LUCKCOCK. hend the continued violence of force Birmingham : Aug, b, 1817.

From the New Monthly Magazine, August 1817. ORIGIN OF THE PRACTICE OF BURYING IN CHURCH.

YARDS. A T the close of an article inserted « The rites of burial are looked upon A in your number for July, 1815, in all countries and at all times to be is the following query,—“When did sacred. Nor are we to wonder, that the the Christians first begin to bury in the ancient Greeks end Romans were ex. church-yard ?"

tremely solicitous about the interment of Not having observed it noticed in any their deceased friends, since they were subsequent page, and accidentally finding strongly persuaded, that their souls could a satisfactory answer, containing much not be admitted into the Elysian fields general information on that subject, I till their bodies were committed to the beg leave to send a transcript of it, for earth; and if it happened that they never insertion.

A RECTOR. obtained the rites of burial, they were June, 1817.

excluded from the happy mansions for the term of 100 years.

VOL. 2.]

Extracts from Thoen's Narrative of his Sufferings.

265

Of those who were allowed the rites method was to put the body whole into of burial, some were distinguished by the ground, or if there was occasion for particular circumstances of disgrace at- any other way of burying, they embalmtending their interment : thus persons ed the body and laid it in a catacomb. killed by lightaing were buried apart by The Danes and northern nations, in themselves; those who wasted their pat- their second age buried their dead under rimony forfeited the right of being buri- earthen hillocks. Sometimes huge pyed in the sepulchres of their fathers ; ramids of stone were raised over their and those who were guilty of self-murder hodies, many of which are still remaining were privately deposited in the ground in divers parts of England. without the accustomed solemnities. In the eighth century the people beAmong the Jews, the privilege of burial gan to be admitted into the church-yards; was denied only to self-murderers, who and some princes, founders, and bishops were thrown out to rot on the ground. into the church. The practice was first The primitive Christian church denied introduced into the Romish church by the more solemn rites of burial to un- Gregory the Great, who was brought baptized persons, self-murderers, and over into England by Cuthbert, Archb. excommunicated persons who continu- of Canterbury, about the year 750; and ed obstinate and impenitent, in a mani- the practice of erecting vaults in chancels fesi contempt of the church's censures. and under the altars, was begun by Lan

The place of burial among the Jews franc, Archbisop of Canterbury, when was never particularly determined. We he had re-built the church in this city, fiod they bad graves in the town and about the year 1075. From that time the country, apon the highways, in gardens, matter seems to have been left to the and upon mountains. Among the Greeks, discretion of the bishop. By our comthe temples were made repositories for mon law no person can be buried within the dead in the primitive ages ; yet, the the church without the consent of the general custom in latter ages with them incumbent, exclusively of the bishop ; as well as with the Romans and other because the freehold of the church beheathen nations, was to bury their dead longs to him, and he is deemed the best without their cities, and chiefly by the judge who are entitled to the favour of highways. They seem to have had a being buried in the church." particular arersion from burộing; their

THE NARRATIVE OF JOHN ALBERTUS THOEN. A NATIVE OF LEYDEN, AND A BRITISH SERJEANT IN THE BENGAL EUROPEAN ARTILLERY.

Prom the Gentleman's Magazine. I ARRIVED at Kandy in January, and whole body being dreadfully swellI 1803, with the army from Colombo, ed; my legs in particular were of such a commanded by General M.Dowall. I size, that when I sat with them stretched was stationed in the top of the hill that wide apart, the knees still nearly touched, overlooks the palace (in the rear), having About the beginning of June, proviunder my command 2 Europeans and 4 sions were very scarce, peither EuroGun Lascars, and having in charge 1 peans nor natives had any thing but pada mortar and 1 three-pounder, which three- dy to eat-not much of that, and mostly pounder was the gun afterwards used in damaged ; arrack the Europeans had the attack of the palace from that height. constantly to the last. About this time, About the middle of the month of April, in consequence, I believe, of the want of I was taken sick one night with fever provisions, some of our people began to and swellings in my legs, and was soon desert. I was still very weak in the hosafterwards obliged to go into hospital pital : the Doctor ordered me a pair of (on the 1st of May); I continued very crutches, but I was not strong enough to ill the whole of the month, my head, legs, walk much with them. About the soide

LA ATHENEUM. Vol. 2.

« AnteriorContinuar »