« AnteriorContinuar »
struck the executioners because they could not force a single groan from their victim. "What!" exclaimed the sufferer, with the most provoking coolness, "dost thou too wish to avenge me of these brutal men?” Dacian now foamed at the mouth, and roared, rather than spoke, to them," Cannot you extort one cry of pain from this man, ye who have so often bent the most stubborn malefactors? Is he thus to triumph over us?" Sharper instruments were now brought, the flesh of the Christian was torn from his bones, and his whole body represented the appearance of one vast wound. For a moment even the savage Dacian was, or appeared to be, softened. Young Christian," said he, hast thou no pity for thyself? In the flower of thine age canst thou not be persuaded to avoid a horrible death by one act of submission?" Thy feigned sympathy," replied the other with the same unshaken tranquillity, "affects me as little as the exquisite torments thou causest me to feel. I will not deny my Maker for thy idols of wood and stone. Thy perseverance will fail sooner than my constancy."
The victim was next laid on an iron bed, the surface of which was covered with sharp projecting points, and a slow fire placed under it. His body was pressed against the spikes, boiling liquids were poured into his wounds; his bones were crushed by blows with iron bars in short, every species of torture was employed that hellish cunning could devise. Still the heroic sufferer murmured not. At length, his mangled limbs having been dashed on a bed of sharp flints, he felt that the moment of his deliverance was at hand. In vain did the tyrant order him to be laid on a comfortable couch, and every effort made to restore him, that, on his recovery, human ingenuity might be taxed for the invention of new torments: in a few hours he expired. His corpse was carried out to sea, and plunged into the waves: it was soon washed on shore, was found by some Christians, and secretly buried. The report of his superhuman constancy was rapidly spread throughout Christendom; and in the time of St. Augustine his festival was celebrated in every Christian place.Lardner's Cyclopedia, History of Spain and Portugal.
ON THE GROWTH OF PLANTS.
THE astonishing power with which God has endued the vegetable creation to multiply its different species, may be instanced in the seed of the elm. This tree produces one thousand five hundred and eighty-four inillions of seeds; and each of these seeds has the power of producing the same number. How astonishing is this produce! At first one seed is deposited in the earth; from this one a tree springs, which in the course of its vegetable life produces one thousand five hundred and eighty millions of seeds. This is the first generation. The second generation will amount to two trillions five hundred and ten thousand and fiftysix billions. The third generation will amount to fourteen thousand six hundred and fifty-eight quadrillions, seven hundred and twenty-seven thousand and forty trillions. And the fourth generation will amount to fifty-o e sextillions, four hundred and eighty-one thousand three hundred and eighty-one quintillions, one hundred and twenty-three thousand one hundred and thirty-six quadrillions! Sums too inmense for the human mind to conceive; and when we allow the most confined space in which a tree can grow, it appears that the seeds of the third generation from one elm would be many myriads of times more than sufficient to stock the whole superficies of all the planets in the solar system!
Thistles multiply enormously: a species called the carolia sylvestris bears ordinarily from twenty to forty
heads, each containing from one hundred to one hundred and fifty seeds. Another species called the acanthum vulgare, produces above one hundred heads, each containing from three hundred to four hundred seeds. Suppose we say that these thistles produce, on a medium, only eighty heads, and that each contains only three hundred seeds; the first crop from these would amount to twenty-four thousand. Let these be sown, and their crop will amount to five hundred and seventy-six millions. Sow these, and their produce will be thirteen billions, eight hundred and twenty-four thousand millions; and a single crop from these, which is only the third year's growth, would amount to three hundred and thirty-one thousand seven hundred and seventysix billions; and the fourth years' growth will amount to seven thousand nine hundred and sixty-two trillions six hundred and twenty-four thousand billions; -a progeny more than sufficient to stock not only the surface of the world, but of all the planets in the solar system, so that no other plant or vegetable could possibly grow, allowing but the space of one square foot for each plant-Dr. Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible.
DIVISIBILITY OF MATTER.
DIVISIBILITY is that property of matter by which its parts may be divided and separated.
Thus, as matter cannot be annihilated by division, so, however small the particles into which it is divided, each will have an upper and under surface, which may be separated by suitable instruments.
Exp. 1. A grain of gold, melted with a pound or 5,760 grains of silver, and a single grain of the mass dissolved into diluted nitric acid, the gold, though only the 5,761st part of a grain, will fall to the bottom, and be visible; but the silver will be dissolved in the acid.
2. A grain of silver may be beaten till a microscope shows 1,000 distinct parts; if one of these be then dissolved, it will tinge 18,000 grains of water; a grain is therefore divisible into 18,000,000 sensible parts.
3. A pound of cotton has been spun so fine, that it would extend 168,000 yards, or 95 miles.
4. A grain of gold may be hammered by the gold beater, so that the naked eye can see the two millionth part of the grain.
5. Also till it will cover 50 square inches, and is only then the hundred thousandth part of an inch.
6. In addition to these experiments, there are animalculæ so small, that many thousands together are smaller than the point of a needle.
Mr. Lewenhoeck says, there are more animals in the milt of a cod-fish, than men on the whole earth; and a single grain of sand is larger than four millions of these animals. Moreover, a particle of blood of one of these animalculæ has been found by calculation, to be as much less than a globe of 1-10th of an inch diameter, as that globe is less than the whole earth. He states, that a grain of sand, in diameter but the hundredth part of an inch, will cover 125,000 of the orifices through which we perspire; and that of some animalculæ, 3,000,000,000 are not equal to a grain of sand.
7. The natural divisions of matter are still more wonderful. In odoriferous bodies a surprising subtility of parts is perceived; several bodies, in a long time, scarcely lose any sensible part of their weight, and yet continually fill a very large space with odoriferous particles.
Dr. Keill computes the magnitude of a particle of assa foetida, to be only thirty-eight trillionths of a cubic inch. One grain of musk will diffuse its odour for many years.-Blair's Natural and Experimental Philosophy..
As this beautiful and interesting science will form one among the departments of our Magazine, it has been thought, that it would prove acceptable to many, especially to our junior readers, to give a few papers, with the view of exciting attention to those objects, which lie immediately within their reach, and of assisting them in their observations. We shall endeavour to divest our descriptions of all the technicalities of science, or, if we are compelled to use them, shall afford such explanation, that they will easily be understood. We shall offer no apology for using what may have been written by other people; our object is to instruct, and we wish to do it in the most pleasing and in the most efficient manner; at the same time, we shall duly acknowledge to whom we are indebted, for any matter we may introduce to our readers. We begin with
(Fringilla Domestica, LINN. Passer Domesticus, Ray). This well-known little bird is found all over Europe, and also in Africa and Asia. It may be called the companion of man, never appearing but where he has erected his dwelling; and, as Col. Montague observes, "on the extensive and dreary mountain not a sparrow is to be seen, and the sight of one bespeaks some habitation near." It seems to depend on man for its supplies, taking its place with much audacity among the poultry, and feeding upon what has been thrown to them. It will also visit the garden, and pick up the seeds sown by the gardener, unless he takes some method to prevent it; and although it prefers grain of all kinds, yet it will take its station in a gooseberry or currant bush, especially the latter, and help itself very freely, "without having been invited.".
From the circumstance that these birds build either about the house, or on trees, it has been popularly inferred that there are two kinds; but this is not the case. The bird usually selects some warm situation for its nest, either upon or near the dwelling of man, sometimes building in holes under the tiles, &c., and sometimes in trees. Its nest is made in a very slovenly manner, and consists of the refuse of the work table, sweepings of the house, bits of bass from the garden, &c. Mr. Rennie says (Architecture of Birds, p. 319), "a pair of these birds, unfortunately for themselves, carried off from the garden a long piece of bass; but when this had been successfully stowed in the nest under the tiles, it appeared that they had not sufficient skill to work it into the fabric, and in their endeavours to manage it, both the birds entangled their feet so inextricably in the folds, that they were held close prisoners, one only having line enough to flutter about a foot beyond the entrance. How long they had remained thus entangled, we know not, as our attention was called to their situation by the more than ordinary cackling of their neighbour sparrows, who had assembled, it appeared, more to scold the unfortunate pair for their carelessness, than to assist them in getting rid of the bass, for not one attempted to aid them. We there fore had them taken down, but they were so exhausted with their struggles that they did not long survive; and a pair of their scolding neighbours took possession of their premises a few days afterwards." It is very
amusing to watch the birds collect materials for their nests; they will be seen to carry away pieces of coloured silk, feathers, or any thing that they can work
cient cavity for hatching the eggs, and rearing the young. We have one of these nests, for example, which could almost be hid in the hollow of the hand, and another built about a yard from it which would fill a hat. When the nest is built on a tree, however, it is always nearly of the same dimensions, about a foot in diameter each way." "But wherever the nest is placed, a roofing seems to be an indispensable requisite; and when built on a tree, a dome of straw is piled together in the loose, lumbering, inartificial style of the rest of the structure, an entrance being formed under this, in the side, sufficient to admit the birds, but not neatly rounded. When sparrows build in the ivied wall of a house, as they often do, they do not consider the thick clustering of the leaves above the nest as a sufficiently warm coping; and in such cases, usually, if not always, they construct a dome of straw, though much more slight than in nests built on the exposed branches of trees." Mr. Rennie has placed this bird in a class which he ingeniously calls dome-builders.
"This bird lays six eggs of a whitish colour, spotted with dusky brown or ash grey" (Col. Montague's Ornithological Dictionary, p. 486); but there is a remarkable difference in the marking of the eggs, no two being exactly alike. The writer of this paper possesses specimens taken from different nests about his house, in which this is particularly the case; and this difference does not only exist in the eggs of different birds, but between the eggs of the same bird; however, the general character is as described above: he has two specimens taken from a nest under the tiles, in which the colour is dusky brown, spotted with darker shades of the same colour. The sparrow weighs about seven drachms: it produces three broods in a year.
SIGNS OF RAIN.
THE following "Signs of Rain" may prove acceptable to our readers in this beautiful but variable month of June. They form an excuse to a friend for not accepting an invitation to make an excursion with him, by the late Dr. Jenner.
"The hollow winds begin to blow:
The clouds look black, the glass is low;
Though June, the air is cold and still,
ORIGIN OF THE ART OF PRINTING. PRINTING by moveable types is one of the most wonderful arts which Divine Providence has ever enabled man to discover. Benefits and blessings innumerable have been enjoyed by this means; and it appears evidently designed to be instrumental in overthrowing the reign of ignorance and misery throughout the world. "" Knowledge is power." Knowledge is one of the chief elements of happiness. Knowledge is essential to true religion; and Christianity is especially a religion of knowledge: we hail, therefore, the wondrous art," as ordained of God to be an admirable auxiliary in the promotion of the emancipation, the regeneration, and the salvation of the human race.
Our readers cannot but be interested in learning the origin and progress of that art, from which they have derived so much pleasure and improvement.
Some writers have ascribed the origin of the Art of Printing to the East, and affixed a very early period for its invention. But these have evidently confounded the European mode of printing, with the engraved tablets which to this day are used in China.
The honour of having invented this most useful art has been claimed by three different cities of Europe, and by three different individuals connected with them: viz. Laurentius of Haerlem, Fust or Faustus of Mentz, and Guttemberg, or Gutenberg, of Strasburg. Without troubling our readers with a tedious detail of the claims on each side, or the various arguments and circumstances adduced in their respective support by different authors, we shall only state it as our decided opinion, that the whole series of facts appears to be entirely in favour of Laurentius of Haerlem, who first made use of separate wooden types about the year 1430; and that Faustus and Guttemberg had only acquired and improved the art in consequence of his original invention. Along with this fact, Junius mentions a number of trivial circumstances, of which one is chiefly worthy of notice; viz. that Laurentius made his discovery in consequence of cutting some letters on trees in a wood, afterwards rubbing them with ink, impressing a piece of paper upon them, and taking off the impression to amuse his grandchildren. After this accidental discovery, Laurentius, who was the son of John Koster, or Custos, or Edituus (i. e. keeper) of the cathedral at Haerlem, then a respectable office, made first wooden types of beech, in whole pages, with which he printed an anonymous work on one side; but the pages were afterwards pasted together, and the book entitled, Speculum nostræ Salutis (the Mirror of our Salvation). His ingenuity led him to contrive moveable wooden types, with which he printed many works; afterwards he formed his types of lead, and at last he mixed a portion of tin in the composition. When his types were useless, he melted them; of which he made several "wine pots," which his grandson Gerard Thomas possessed, above a century after. Laurentius, finding his trade increase, multiplied the number of his workmen; but one of them, John Faustus, having seized a collection of the types and other implements,
set off with an accomplice, first to Amsterdamn, then to Cologne, and last to Mentz, where he settled and wrought "with the tools he had stolen." Some say that John Genfleish was the thief, and others that it was Guttemberg, and that Faustus, who was a wealthy man, assisted the first printers with money, to carry on their art at Mentz.
Perfect information on this subject may not be attainable, nor is it necessary for us: we learn, however, that the two brothers, Genfleishes, hired the house of Zum Jungen, at Mentz, in 1443; and being assisted with money by Faustus, he and John Meidenbachius, and some others, were admitted partners; and in 1444 they were also joined by Guttemberg, who for that purpose left Strasburg. The Genfleishes made further improvements in their metal types; and after some smaller attempts, they printed in 1450, an edition of the Bible in Latin!
Peter Schoeffer, who had been a kind of foreman, or under-partner of Faustus, completed the discovery of the art by the efforts of his own genius. For after various experiments, he found that the characters might be cut in a matrix, in which the letters might be singly cast instead of the tedious process of cutting every one. He then privately cut matrices for the whole alphabet; and when he showed his master the types cast from these matrices, Faustus was so overjoyed, that he promised him his only daughter Christina in marriage; which fair portion he soon possessed, the well-earned reward of his persevering ingenuity. The method of hardening the metal he soon afterwards discovered, by which he completed the whole of this inestimable invention.
Faustus and his son-in-law were accustomed to make their workmen take an oath to keep their improved art a secret. But the city of Mentz being taken and sacked, October 27, 1462, by Abp. Adolphus, of Nassau, their compositors were dispersed, and the invention spread throughout Europe, to diffuse its marvellous benefits. From this period to 1466, Faustus and Schoeffer continued to print a great number of books, mostly on vellum, and beautifully ornamented with gilt and painted head and tail pieces, like the old manuscripts. In 1466, Faustus carried a large number of Bibles to Paris, and sold them at first as manuscript, obtaining from five hundred to six hundred crowns for a single copy: but afterwards he lowered the price to sixty, and even to forty crowns.
William Caxton, a inercer and citizen of London, is commonly honoured as having introduced the art of printing into England, in 1471. But a small book in
the public library at Cambridge, which had not been observed before the Restoration, affords clear evidence that Caxton was not the first English printer. This book, consisting of eighty-two quarto pages, was printed at Oxford, in December 1468. In that it is stated, that as soon as the art of printing made some noise in Europe, Thomas Bourchier, Abp. of Canterbury, moved the king (Henry VI), to use all means for procuring a printing mould to be brought into this kingdom. The king, a good man, readily hearkened to the motion." He devoted first one thousand merks towards the expense, and afterwards five hundred more; the arch
bishop gave three hundred. Mr. Robert Turnour, the master of the robes to the king, was appointed commissioner; who took with him Mr. Caxton, he being an experienced trader to Holland. His business af forded him good pretence for the journey. Accordingly, they accomplished their object, and Frederick Corsellis stole off with them in disguise, and was quickly brought to London, and thence sent to Oxford under a strong guard, till he accomplished his engagement of teaching several Englishmen the whole art of composing, printing, distributing, &c. Thus the first British press was set up at Oxford; and this press at Oxford was at least ten years before there was any printing in Europe, except at Haerlem and Mentz.
Corsellis perhaps must be allowed priority in point of time, but the merit of being the first printer in England, who used fusile types, belongs to William Caxton. This benefactor to his country was a very respectable character; and in 1464 had been employed by Edward IV along with R. Whitehall, Esq., to conclude a treaty with Edward's brother-in-law, the Duke of Burgundy. In the Bodleian library there is a copy of Esop's Fables, printed by Caxton, which is believed to be the first book which has its leaves numbered. After living to be upwards of 80 years of age, Caxton died in 1494. Since the days of Caxton, the father of the typographic art in England, how wonderfully has this most wonderful invention been improved! We cannot here enlarge upon the ingenious contrivance of stereotype plates; nor speak of the immense printing establishment at Oxford, which now is said to print at the rate of ONE BIBLE PER MINUTE, nor of the still more magnificent establishment at New York, in which, with sixteen steam presses, they are able to print at the astonishing rate of five bibles PER MINUTE through the year. But to what a degree of perfection it is possible to carry this amazing invention, we are utterly at a loss to conceive, when we are assured, that the Times Newspaper can be struck off by means of their steam apparatus at the rate of fifty copies per minute ! !
SURREY ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS. THIS is an establishment highly worthy of the encouragement, especially of our citizens, and the inhabitants of the eastern parts of the metropolis, as it affords to them an evening's most delightful walk and amusement, every way rational and instructive. have the mind thus employed after the fatigues of business, in contemplating the wonders of creation in some of the more noble animals, would be highly beneficial; while the walk would, we doubt not, contribute much to the health of those who of necessity are kept within the "smoke of London" all the day.
It would be impossible to do any thing like justice to these gardens within the limits of a single paper; we wish to draw the attention of our readers to them, and we advise that they should inspect them for themselves. They will find among the animals some very fine specimens. That of the Barbary lion is most magnificent, and those of the true Asiatic lion are well worth attention. These, as well as other exotic animals, are kept in a magnificent building, designed by Mr. H. Phillips of Brighton. It is circular, and three hundred feet in circumference, and is inclosed by about thirty thousand panes of glass: it will be warmed by hot water, in order to preserve the animals from the rigours of our climate in winter. There is another smaller building also inclosed in glass; this is used as a monkey-house, and will prove effectual, we hope, in preserving these animals during the winter. We were pleased to see there, in a visit we paid the other day,
two fine specimens of the boa constrictor, each about thirteen feet in length, and one specimen of what was called an African boa just received. We were gratified also in observing that many of the plants and trees had their names attached to them, a plan that cannot be too strongly recommended in all public institutions of this character. The whole gardens comprise an extent of fifteen acres, and there is a piece of water of about three acres which gives a beautiful effect. The animals are fed twice a day, in the morning, and at five o'clock in the afternoon; an organ, which is stationed in the circular building, gives notice to the animals that the feeding time has arrived, and a bell is rung in the gardens to give the same notice to the company. We think this is one of the best times to visit them, as the animals then of course are particularly lively. The effect of the music upon the animals is curious, making the lions roar, &c. We understand that an elephant is shortly to be placed among the collection. In conclusion, we cordially wish the proprietors every success in this spirited undertaking.
CHRISTIANITY RECOMMENDED BY AN
DR. ELLIOTT was well acquainted with Colonel Allen, a celebrated infidel in America, and made him a visit at a time when his daughter was sick and near dying. He was introduced to the colonel in his library, where he read to the Doctor some passages of his writings with much evident self-complacency, and asked, "Is not that well done?" While they were thus engaged, a messenger entered, informing Colonel Allen that his daughter was dying, and desired to speak with him. Immediately he hastened to her chamber, accompanied by Dr. Elliott, who was desirous of witnessing the affecting interview. The wife of Colonel Allen was a pious woman, who had carefully instructed her daughter in the principles of Christianity. As soon as her father appeared at her bed-side, she said to him, "I am about to die: shall I believe in the principles you have taught me, or shall I believe in what my mother has taught me?" The infidel colonel became extremely agitated his chin quivered, his whole frame shook; and after waiting a few moments, he replied, "Believe what your mother has taught you."
THE HEAVENLY CROWN.
DURING the last French war, a French officer, who was a prisoner upon his parole at Reading, met with a Bible; he read it, and was so struck with its contents, that he was convinced of the folly of his sceptical principles, and of the truth of Christianity, and resolved to become a Protestant. When his gay associates rallied him for taking so serious a turn, he said in his vindication, "I have done no more than my old school-fellow Bernadotte, who has become a Lutheran." "Yes," but he became so, said his associates, "to obtain a crown." "My motive," said the Christian officer, "is the same; we only differ as to the place. The object of Bernadotte is to obtain a crown in Sweden, mine is to obtain a crown in heaven!"
A MORNING IN JUNE.
BY W. AND M HOWITT.
The morning bursts-all heaven has shed Its light and music round thy bed: The birds are busy in the eaves; The sunlight dances on the leaves
That tremble round the window's rim
But, oh! thou world of light and glee!
The dew yet lingers on the grass,
CULTIVATION OF COCHINEAL.
THE nopal is a plant consisting of little stem, but expanding itself into wide thick leaves, more or less prickly according to its different kinds: one or two of these leaves being set as one plant, at the distance of two or three feet square from each other, are inoculated with the cochineal, which, I scarcely need say, is an insect it is the same as if you would take the blight off an apple or other common tree, and rub a small portion of it on another tree free from the contagion, when the consequence would be that the tree so inoculated would become covered with the blight a sinall quantity of the insects in question is sufficient for each plant, which, in proportion as it increases its leaves, is sure to be covered with the costly parasite. When the plant is perfectly saturated, the cochineal is scraped off with great care. The plants are not very valuable for the first year, but, from questions I put to the steward about the produce, it appeared that they might be estimated as yielding, after the second year, from a dollar to a dollar and a half profit on each plant.Thompson's Visit to Guatemala.
IN Warren County, Kentucky, is a cavern in limestone, which has been explored by gentlemen of science for the astonishing distance of ten miles, without finding the end.-Mag. of Nat. History.
MARYLAND (U. S.) SUNDAY SCHOOL UNION. LEARNING and religion flourish in America, under the Divine blessing, through the pious, generous, and indefatigable zeal of the servants of Christ. When did Infidelity ever contemplate such a benefit for the poor, as the following resolution expresses?
At a late meeting of the Sunday School Union of the State of Maryland, it was unanimously resolved, that the said Union "undertake, in humble reliance upon the aid of Almighty God, in the space of two years, to iustitute, or cause or procure to be instituted, in every town, village, congregation, society, or section of the State of Maryland, where it is practicable, a Sabbath School or Schools, for the purpose of instructing the rising generation to read the sacred Scriptures."
The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge has recently resolved to present any National School with books and tracts to the amount of Five Pounds, if books and tracts to the same amount be purchased by the School from its own funds. This is to encourage the formation of National School Lending Libraries throughout the kingdom.
SIR ISAAC NEWTON.
SIR ISAAC NEWTON, universally acknowledged to be the ablest philosopher and mathematician that this or perhaps any other nation has produced, is also well known to have been a firm believer, and a serious Christian. His discoveries concerning the frame and system of the universe, were applied by him to demonstrate the being of a God, and to illustrate his power and wisdom in the creation.
Reading is to the mind what food is to the body, it nourishes, refreshes, and invigorates it. Be careful therefore that all mental food be of good quality. Let nothing be received into the mind, but that which will produce such effects. Let every thing be well digested, and laid up in the storehouse of the memory, to be applied by the judgment, as occasion may require.
TO OUR READERS.
SEVERAL Clergymen, Dissenting Ministers, and Members of Parliament, besides many Sunday School Teachers, have expressed their high approbation of the CHRISTIAN'S PENNY MAGAZINE. We return them our sincere thanks for their countenance and promised support; and beg to assure them, that arrangements have been made to render it more permanently useful and instructive, particularly to Families and Sabbath Schools.
The CHRISTIAN'S PENNY MAGAZINE may be delivered weekly in the Towns of the United Kingdom, by those Booksellers and Newsmen to whom Subscribers address their orders. Being unstamped, it cannot be transmitted by post as a Newspaper. But for the convenience of our country friends and others, who cannot obtain the publication weekly, it will be published every four weeks in parts, each including four numbers; excepting in June and December, in each of which a part will be published containing six numbers. No extra charge will be made for the wrapper: so that the whole annual expense of the Twelve parts will be 4s. 4d.
London: Printed and Published by C. WOOD AND SON, Poppin's Court, Fleet Street, and may be had of all Booksellers and Newsmen.
Communications (post paid) to be addressed to the Editor, at