« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
with the same respective velocities and periods of revo- | globular form of the world was long denied by many pious lution which they have in the heavens: the wheel-work persons, because the Scripture speaks of the "ends of being calculated to a minute of time from the latest dis- the earth;" its rotation on its axis, and the immobility of coveries. The diurnal rotation of the earth about its axis, the sun in the centre of the system, because Joshua comthe different seasons of the year, and the different lengths manded 'the sun to stand still, and the Lord stayed its of days and nights, are likewise here completely exhibited. going down. GALILEO was imprisoned, and nearly lost In short, by this instrument, every phenomenon in the his life by the vengeance of the inquisition, for asserting solar system is represented as it actually appears in the truths now finally established, which were then thought heavens. to militate against some passages of Holy Writ. Happily, mankind in general are now convinced that those, and many other expressions and descriptions, were made in conformity with the then received opinions, and were not intended as philosophical truths, which the Scriptures do not pretend to teach. In common and social life, were the Apostle's commands, "Lie not one to another; "Have your loins girt about with truth; "+" Wherefore, putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour;"—if these precepts were strictly obeyed, what a different world should we behold! What confidence might man then repose in man; with what security would all his transactions be carried on; how many anxious cares and painful scrutinies would then be rendered unnecessary; with what ease would strict justice be administered without danger of mistake; how many unhappy engagements would be avoided! Treachery and fraud would be unknown.
By means of the orrery a great many persons, who have not time to apply themselves to the study of astronomy, and yet are desirous to be acquainted with the celestial appearances, may in a few days get a competent knowledge of several phenomena, and especially be cured of the common prejudice against the motion of the earth, and the Copernican system. But the principal use of the orrery is to render the theory of the earth and the moon easy and intelligible; and to evidence to our senses how all those appearances happen which depend on the annual or diurnal rotation of the earth, and the monthly revolutions of the moon, in which are shewn the various phases, the manner of solar and lunar eclipses, the vicissitudes and various lengths of days and nights, the variety of the seasons, &c.
Truth has been, professedly, the object of man's researches, from the first moment that his mental powers began to unfold themselves until the present hour. But, in many cases, he wilfully shut his eyes to it when it presented itself to him; and in others, falsehood offered itself to his notice in the garb of truth, and was welcomed by him as the reality of that which it professed to be.
A consummation so devoutly to be wished, cannot be expected until God shall see fit to change the hearts of all mankind. But a great approach might be made towards it, were parents and teachers more careful to inspire a love of veracity in the breasts of children, and to lay before them, in the most vivid colours, the beauties and advantages of truth, and the disadvantages and disgrace attendant on a departure from it. How much would this desirable end be promoted, were those to whom youth look up for example, to be careful to avoid every expression that might wear the appearance of untruth, even in jest ; uniformly to consider every deviation from veracity as a fault of a pernicious nature, and to deal leniently with him, who, having committed an should honourably, though not impudently, avow it, and
Men, in general, are not qualified to discover the truth Too much severity towards children is a great inducein many matters of high importance; it lies hidden under ment to them to tell falsehoods; the hope of screening so many coverings, which must be skilfully and com- themselves from punishment prompts them to tell the pletely removed before it can be clearly seen, that none ready untruth, and, frequently, to persist in denial, even but persons of strong intellect, unbiassed minds, profound when the evidence is clear against them. To reclaim them learning, and great wisdom, can hope for success in from this aggravation of their delinquency, a ready and bringing it to light. The faculties of man, likewise, are so humble avowal of their fault should weigh greatly in limited, and his life is so short, that the number of their favour; reasoning, suited to their capacity, should important truths which each individual can discover by his be used to impress them with an idea of the beauty and own unaided exertions, is very small. In many cases, honourable nature of truth, and the baseness and then, he must depend for it on the skill and probity of cowardice of a lie. They should be seriously informed, another. It not unfrequently happens that the interest of that falsehood is sooner or later detected, however permany who are qualified to discover truth, lies in the con- tinaciously persisted in; that some unexpected circumcealing of it, and imposing falsehoods on the world in lieu stances, some unguarded discrepancy in the fabricated of it. In interest have originated the many gross im- tale, will usually be found, that will betray its fallacy and positions that have been foisted on the world for truths, cover the liar with disgrace. That even if the attempt to the great injury of the physical, the moral, and the should succeed, as far as relates to man, and the falsehood religious health of mankind. Impostures, which are escape detection here, there is an eye that sees all things; practical falsehoods, have done more to retard the there is a Being who cannot be deceived; who has the advance of mankind in true wisdom, to encourage vice, power to punish a fault which he abhors, and who will and to excite hatred, malice, persecution, wars, and most assuredly do so, if it be not truly repented of and bloodshed, than all other things whatever.
Even wrong views of any particular truth_will_materially hinder the reception of other truths, though they should be made as clear as the noon-day sun; thus, the
But, truth is frequently violated by those who would, To be strictly observant of truth is to be like Him who by no means, utter a wilful falsehood; and that in ways is the God of Truth. It is not sufficient that we abstain that are productive of much mischief. Against such from palpable falsehoods; every attempt to deceive is a breaches of veracity a good man will most sedulously practical lie; and every exaggerated statement, or wilfully guard. false inference, is an offence against that veracity which Breach of promise is a violation of truth, frequently virtue and religion enjoin; even falsehoods, told to productive of pernicious consequences of a most serious avoid some great calamity, or to avoid it from others, are nature. It is a very common practice for parents and wholly unjustifiable. To do evil that good may come,* others to quiet the importunities of children, or to induce is properly deprecated by the Apostle; and we may rest them to do that to which they are averse, by promising assured that whatever present inconvenience may attend things which they have no intention of performing this a resolute perseverance in duty, that God who has comis committing a great evil to avoid a present incon-manded us to hold fast the truth, will not suffer us to be, venience; and, in a short time, it does not even answer ultimately, losers for obeying his injunctions. that purpose; for children who have thus been deceived, grow suspicious, and refuse to credit assertions which experience has told them cannot be depended on. Thus guilt is contracted, an evil example set to the young, and irreparable mischief occasioned, to escape a small present inconvenience which is afterwards incurred with double force.
It is not at all necessary to use harsh refusals, when children are importunate for that which is improper or inconvenient; if they are old enough to understand reason, they should be gently informed why it is so, and if they cannot be convinced, a mild but firm refusal must be persisted in. This may displease for a short time, but it lessens neither affection for, nor confidence in, the person who thus refuses; nor does it set an evil example to those whose young and tender minds are peculiarly susceptible of impressions, whether bad or good.
But breaches of promise to those of more mature years, are a species of falsehoods that frequently produce the most lamentable results. Persons of a warm and affectionate disposition sometimes hastily make promises which it would be inconvenient to keep; they therefore appear to have forgotten them: but the persons to whom they are made have not so treacherous a memory; they have trusted in them, have cherished the expectation of their fulfilment, and perhaps made arrangements, under that expectation, which occasion the disappointment to be exceedingly severe and pernicious.
Exaggeration is another and very common species of falsehood. So fond are men in general of highly coloured pictures, and so desirous are narrators to render their stories interesting, that few, even of those who may, on the whole, be considered as men of probity, can keep to the severe truth; they love to give to their relations something of the air of the marvellous, especially if they themselves have been actors in the scene. It was this propensity that induced some of the ancient historians to insert narratives in their pages which modern incredulity rejects as fables; the ground-work of them is, perhaps, true, but they have been so embellished as to render them improbable.
The least indulgence in wilful falsehood destroys confidence. Thus Paley observes :-" I have seldom known any one who deserted truth in trifles that could be trusted in matters of importance; the habit of lying, when once formed, is easily extended, to serve the designs of malice or interest." He, then, who would avoid the loss of confidence which attends falsehood, must carefully practise veracity on all occasions.
A native of Gernsheim, was employed by John Faust, after his (Faust's) dissolution of partnership with Guttenberg; and being of a mechanical turn of mind, with considerable genius and industry, he soon ingratiated himself with his master, who gave him his daughter in marriage, and admitted him a partner in his business. Schoeffer is universally acknowledged as the first who invented and brought metal types to perfection by casting them in moulds; he had for a time the whole direction and management of the printing press at Mentz, Faust being absent at Paris and other places for months together to dispose of their works. Peter Schoeffer continued the business after the decease of Faust, in 1466, and it remained in his family for two or three generations. Schoeffer printed many works of great merit and importance, and made many improvements in the art; but as to his genealogy and the origin of his family, or of what rank they were, we have not sufficiently authenticated documents to determine: it has, however, been generally admitted that at least, if not the inventors, Gullenberg, Faust, and Schoeffer, were the first persons who brought the "art of Printing" to any degree of perfection. The inscription set up at Mentz is a strong proof that printing with metal types was first practised in that city.
To impute actions that are in' themselves indifferent to improper motives, is a species of falsehood remarkably JOHN FAUST was a native of Mentz, and is commonly prevalent. Wherever envy has a place, the actions of the described as a goldsmith in that city; but his ingenuity envied persons are viewed with a jaundiced eye, and com-induced him to join with Guttenberg in the pursuit of a mented upon with a prejudiced mind: they are never supposed to be what they appear, but are alleged to proceed from some evil design, some interested and base purpose. Such assertions are falsehoods of a malignant nature, calculated to injure the reputation of an innocent person, and to gratify the spleen of a wicked disposition. Scandal and calumny originate in a great measure from this source, and a more prevalent vice is scarcely to be found.
complete method of printing books; his separation from Guttenberg through the venality,† as some have said, of that ingenious mechanic, was probably an event that brought Schoeffer into connexion with him, and also into subsequent importance and fame.
In regard to Schoeffer, he must be allowed the honour
Rom. iii. 8.
The act of doing a thing for gain.
of having invented punches and matrices, by means must have cost some pains and expense in the accomplishof which this admirable art was carried to perfection. The first fruits of this new process, which constitutes the origin of the true typographic art, was Rationale divisorum Officiorum, published by Faust and in a forest, Schoeffer in 1459, which was followed some years after by the "Catholicon Joannis Januensis."
Young Caxton, feeling that elevation of mind which "Durandi education induces, could not be content to remain secluded
The next work was "The Bible," so much sought for by those fond of early specimens of typography, and which appeared in 1462.
These three works had been preceded by two editions of the "Psalter," the first in 1457, and the second in 1459; but both executed with characters engraved on wood, and by a mechanism which Faust and Schoeffer possessed, in common with Guttenberg. These two editions of the Psalter, so exceedingly rare, are master-pieces of Typography, and astonish connoisseurs, both on account of the boldness and precision with which the industrious Schoeffer cut the characters, which are in imitation of the finest writing of the time; of the beauty and elegance of the initial letters, printed in three colours, blue, red, and purple; and of the accuracy and neatness of the impression. Some works, however, are accounted to be older than those above-mentioned, though neither the place nor the Of this kind are name of the printer is indicated. a Bible, in two volumes folio, which was preserved in the Mazarine library at Paris; Speculum Vitae Humance," in fifty prints; "A History of the Old and New Testament," represented in forty figures engraved on wood, with Latin explanations engraved on the same blocks; "A History of St. John the Evangelist," on forty-eight prints of the "Ars morendi," in twenty-four cuts, printed same kind; only on one side each page consists of a wood-cut, representing an example of the miseries of human life, with some explanations engraved on the same print; the leaves are pasted together, two and two; this work was sold for forty pounds sterling, at the sale of M. Mariette, in 1775. The last three works were certainly prior to printing with moveable types, and may be as old as the The Bible must have been printed between 1450 and 1455. It has been stated in different works, and
often repeated, that Faust went to Paris to sell a part of
WILLIAM CAXTON was born in the weald, or woody part We have of the county of Kent, about the year 1410. no account of his parents, but from their local situation in a romantic part of the country, it is generally supposed they were of the class of peasantry; nevertheless, they contrived to obtain for their son a good education, as in his works he expresses his gratitude to them for having done to him this important parental duty in his youth; and considering the time and place in which they lived, it
• Nouveau Dictionnaire Historique.
"Where many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its fragrance on the desert air,"
On the death of his master, in 1441, he re
At about fifteen years of age he was apprenticed to
It has been regretted that he confined himself to the German school of printing, and did not inspect the more tasteful performances of the Roman, Venetian, and Parisian presses, as it is probable in that case he would have selected the Roman character for his fonts rather than the German: it is supposed he consulted the masters of the Cologne press, who had gained their instructions at
Mentz. The first book he printed in England was on the CRITICAL ILLUSTRATIONS OF SOME OF THE "Game of Chess." It was dedicated to the duke of Clarence, King Edward's brother.
Caxton diligently proceeded in the practice of his art for the space of twenty years, in which time he produced between fifty and sixty specimens of his labour. A great part of them are translations from the French, and upon the whole, well chosen to infuse a taste for literature, and promote good morals. He died in 1491, and was buried at St. Margaret's, Westminster. Though his claims as a scholar are small, and no improvement of the typographical art is ascribed to him; yet he deserves the gratitude of his country, for his share in naturalising one of the most admirable of all inventions, and from which so much peculiar honour and benefit has accrued to this island. The " 'Biographia Britannica" contains a very elaborate account of Caxton and his performances, in the manner of an antiquarian inquiry, to which, for a more full account,
our readers are referred.
then in use.
Mr. Caxton's first performances are very rude and barbarous. He used a letter resembling the handwriting lar. He used the characteristics which we find in English His d, at the end of a word, is very singumanuscripts before the Conquest. Instead of commas and periods, he used an oblique stroke, thus, '; which the Dutch printers do to this day in their gothic impressions. His letter was peculiar and easily known, being a mixture of secretary and gothic. Like other printers of his time, he never used any direction or catch-word, but placed the signatures where that now stands; and rarely numbered his leaves, and never his pages. In most of his books he only printed, as the custom then was, a small letter at the beginning of the chapters, to intimate what the initial or capital letter should be, and left that to be made by the illuminator, who wrote it with a pen, with red, blue, or green ink; but in some of his books he used two-line letters, of a gothic kind. As he printed long before the present method of adding the errata at the end of books was used, his extraordinary exactness obliged him to take a great deal more pains than can easily be imagined; for after a book was printed off, his method was to revise it, and correct the faults with red ink. This being done to one copy, he then employed a proper person to correct the whole impression. His books are printed on paper very fine and good, and not unlike the thin vellum on which they used to write their books at that time.
The general character of Caxton seems to have been that of a modest man, humble and very industrious, and not without a considerable share of piety and religion. He preferred the printing of such books as had these objects in view; to use his own words,-"BOOKES to which be found many good ensignments and learnynges, and good ensamples for al maner of peple generally, special bookes to know al vyces, and branchis of them, and also al vertues." In his disposition he was polite, and grateful for favours, which he never failed to acknowledge; and if his genius did not beam on his native country, a sun of refulgence and creative influence, it assuredly reflected the modest rays of a steady satellite, true to its primary, his beloved country; and so long as typography shall continue, he must have an imperishable name in the records of distinguished characters. There is a tablet in Westminster Abbey, with a suitable inscription, erected to his memory by the Roxburgh Club, Earl Spencer President.
IN COURSE OF COURSE.-In course describes the succession of order; of course, the succession of dependence;in course announces a sequence merely; of course, a consequence;-in course suggests a regular connexion; of course, a necessary one. The nobility attended in course; that is, according to the order of their precedence. The nobility attended of course; that is, in virtue of their office. I praised him in course; that is, when it came to his turn. I praised him of course; because his merit required it. The soldiery marched out of the town in course; that is, in regular ranks. The soldiery marched out of the town of course; that is, because, at assize or election times, the law requires their absence. material or physical attainments, and acquirement, to moral ACQUISITION-ACQUIREMENT.-Acquisition is applied to or mental ones. We say, acquisitions of fortune; but acquirements of literature. To win a province, is an which leads to fame, passes for an acquirement. acquisition; to learn a language, an acquirement. The merit that leads to wealth, passes for an acquisition; that
THE AURORA BOREALIS, OR NORTHERN
when the sun begins to shed a sort of golden lustre by his refracted THE Word Aurora is used to signify the morning or break of day,
the Latin name for gold; and borealis, signifying northern; conserays on the atmosphere; hence its name aurora, being derived from quently, the literal and simple meaning is the "northern twilight." Whether the original term was intended to have any allusion to the greatest display of this phenomenon generally occurs about the season of the year, we will not take upon ourselves to say; but the time that the sun sinks below the horizon of the polar hemisphere, or at the period when he is approaching within 18 degrees thereof, so that it is at the twilight of the Arctic countries, between the latitude of about 63 degrees, and the North Pole, that this appearance is most commonly observed; or about the time of the
The AURORA BOREALIS is an extraordinary luminous appearance, shewing itself in the night time, mostly towards the north, but weather, and is seen most plainly in the northern parts of Europe, sometimes towards the south; it is best observed in clear frosty particularly in Russia. It resembles a kind of faint lightning, or twinkling in the sky, running up towards the zenith, in streaks of light, alternately shining and disappearing; it is this vaulting kind of light, or pale flashes, that has caused mariners to call these frequently visible in some years than in others, and when most appearances by the name of the "Merry dancers." It is more remarkably conspicuous the horizon towards the north will generally be dark or dusky, with a kind of vapour, or thick atmosphere, and no star-light in that quarter. We will first give some of the opinions of the learned on this subject, and then, with great defe
rence to them, hazard one of our own.
GASSENDI, in describing it as seen in France on the second of September in 1621, first gave it the name of "aurora borealis." Father Boscovici calculates the height of that observed by the Marquis of POLINI, on the sixteenth of December, 1737, at 825 miles; and Mr. BERGMAN makes the average height of several observations 468 miles. EULER supposes them to be several thousand miles above the surface of the earth; and MARIAN thinks they are at least 600 miles.
relation to the earth. Dr. BLAGDF says that the aurora borealis Dr. THIENEMAN considers that this meteor has no determinate occupies a high region above the surface of the earth, because it can be seen at a great distance; and he adds that the accumulation of electric matter seems to lie beyond the verge of our atmosphere. He informs us that instances are recorded in which the northern lights have been seen to join and form luminous balls, darting about with great velocity, and even leaving a train behind like the common fire balls. This ingenious philosopher, conjecturing that
distant regions are allotted to the electrical phenomena of our atmosphere, assigns the appearance of fire balls to that region which lies beyond the limits of our crepuscular atmosphere; and a greater elevation above the earth to that accumulation of electricity, in a lighter and less condensed form, which produces the wonderfully diversified streams, and coruscations of olen
"Those dunting meteors, that ceaseless shake
A warning 'blazę, refracted o'er the heavens."
It is hardly worth while to mention the absurd notion of those who have assigned the cause of the aurora borealis to the reflections of volcanoes, or burning mountains in the polar regions, for the phe nomenon has been visible when no such eruptions were in active operation.
Dr.: GRANVILLE, who calcutated the yearly number of these appearances at St. Petersburg, in Russia, mentions one of extraor dinary brilliancy that occurred in 1819; his statement is as follows: The sky was illuminated from the Horizon to the zenith, extending east and west to a considerable distance Massos of fire, in the form of colunms, and as brilliant as the brightest phosphorus, danced in the air, and streaks of a deeper light, of various sizes, rose from the horizon and flashed between them. The brightness of the former seemed at times to grow faint and dim, At this conjuncture, the broad streaks would snd denly shoot with great velocity up to the zenith with an undulating notion and a pýramittal form. From the columns flashes of light, like a succession of sparks from an dectric jar, flew off and while the their form and rapidly broke out in places where done were seen before, shooting along the heavens, and then disappearing in a moment. The sky in many places became tinged with a deep purple, the stars shone very brilliantly, the separate lights gradually emerged into each other, when, the auroral resplendency of the horizon increased, and became magnificent. This phenomenon lasted nearly four hours and at one time a large triangle of the strongest light occnpied the horizon, illuminating, in the most magnificent manner, nearly the entire vault of hisavén:”- 6:
This circumstantial account is sufficient from which to draw a rational conclusion as to the cause and nature of the aurora bore alis; and with great deference to the learned authorities previously quoted, we need not hesitate to pronounce it an atmospherical effect of electricity, and no higher in the region of space than our own atmosphere, which, as well as the earth, contains this subule fluid... On this very simple fact we may account for the aurora borealis, and also for the inclination of the magnetic needle towards the north..:
[DEC. 31, 1833.
not so constant, on account of the long absence of the sun, and of that exciting motion which his beams give to all fluid elements; the appearance too of those dancing lights, about the time of the equinoxes, more than at, any, other time, shews the effect that the sun has on this element when he shoots his rays, or withdraws them from the slanting course they take through the hyperborean skies; just as the moon at full and change affects the grosser and brilliant, and like all other meteors has its existence in the element, the water of the ocean; so at the vernal, but particu atmosphere; that is, never more than fifty miles above the surface larly at the autumnal equinoxes, the aurora borealis is most full of the earth; for beyond that it would instantly be so expanded in ether as to become invisible; in plain language, it would extin; observed; and unless there be a contact with the elements that coinpose the circumambient air, the human eye could not discern guish; for it is only by operation on the atmosphere that it can be tits dissipated particles might exist in the void, (if such a term may be used,) beyond our atmosphere, but could only have been ever, therefore, becomes of the aurora borealis, or whithersoever it ascents, the substance, cause, and effect of it, are simply, the embodied, and visible as such, while passing through it. What succession of electrical discharges passing through the atmosphere; and were those discharges to meet with a very moist medium, the particles of that medium would concentrate, and clouds, tempests, highting, and thunder would ensue in fact, scarcely ever have those phenomena been frequent and brilliant without a successioni of tempestuous weather. That there is a greater portion of the electric polar regions than nomirest by the magnetic influence, and, perhaps the variation of the mariner's compass results from the circumstance of the greater portion being constantly over the largest tract of land lying from equator, England westward of the pole; bar which, in a westward longi; tide, lies directly due north, and canses the needle to exactly true, but by going sull farther towards the west, the needle will point eastward of the pole.
the rays of a candle being extended to the sides of a room, the
moonshine; the particles nove in different directions, and appear
Precisely the same thing will happen in our own districts, when a cloalless, sky and open atmosphere allows the earth to emit the electric Blaid without obstruction, or rather attracts it from the but often continue for hours. Though this may appear mysterious bowels of the earth into the ethereal regions; then will faint it is readily explained. This meteor consists of a thifi maro-sulphu These lights do not go out immediately, like a flash of lightning, cornscations dance in the air, and frequently flash on the sight Leons vapon, which, being raised high in the atmosphere, nunch like sudden twinklings of the eyes. This fluid, if imbibed in a higher than the clouds, by fermentation caused by the wind, takes cond, would charge it with that element which constitutes light-fire, and the explosion of one portion of it kindling with the next, ning, and by sudden explosion causes thunder; but in a vast the flashes succeed one another till the whole quantity of vapour expanse, where the humid vapours are few, and those condensed within their reach is set on fire. Thus the humidity of the meteor, into solids, as towards the poles, the immense accumulation of or nitro-sulphureous matter, being destroyed, the combination electiic matter has room to expand and traverse the atmosphere, ceases, and, of course, the phenomena. and its reflection causes that dancing light which shines through, and is refracted by a more humid air, such as that by which we are surrounded:; nor need; those eruptions of electricity to ascend to sneh a height; in order to be seen, as some of these learned, doctors have supposed; for this refraction not only causes the undulating and varied; forms, and, motions of the light, but also carriés įt obliquely to an immense, distance. The cause of the alternate appearance and disappearance of the illuminated columns and bodies of light, is the dispersion of one accumulation of the electric fluid into the vast expanse, and the successive supply of another. The earth, by its rotatory and orbical motions imbibes and contains a vast quantity of the electric fluid, and when sprcharged § must emit or yield it by the universal law of gravitation to that medium which is void, and, consequently, presses for an equilibrium; this fluid is collected in greater abundance towards the poles of the globe, because there the evaporation is
* CREPUSCULAR, from the Latin word crepusculum, twilight. + CORUSCATION, a quick, sudden, and short darting of splen
dour; a fash, or glittering light.
Moist, having the power to wet.
§ SURCHARGE, too heavy a burden, or more than can be well borne."
|| GRAVITATION, the act of tending to the centre.
* HYPEREOREAN, northern.
TO OUR READERS AND THE PUBLIC.
We beg to inform our readers and the public, that our carly numbers of the ensuing year will contain a “ Brief Description of the Varieties of the Human Race," illustrated by Graphic Sketches ; a beautiful Engraving of “ The School of Athens,” taken from the celebrated Painting in the Vatican, at Rome, b Raphact, in which are comprised upwards of sixty Portraits of the most eminent Philosophers of Greece, together with a descrip— tion, and the Biography of the most distinguished characters, &c. &c.