« AnteriorContinuar »
made way, with a wonder which was almost
LINES, awe, for the tall, aristocratic figure-habited in the precise, wide-skirted, snuff-colored Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, entitled “What dost thou whis
Suggested by rending Stanzas by Miss Camilla Toulmin, in garments, and close-fitting knee-breeches of per, murmuring shell ?" October 21, 1843. another century-which stooped, as if bent to the earth by weighty thoughts.
From Chambers's Edinburgh Journal. His characteristic reserve displayed itself
And dost thou ask me, maiden fair, even upon his death-bed. When he felt his
The secrets of the deep to tell? end approaching, he insisted upon being left And can thy gentle spirit hear quite alone, and dismissed his only attendant The whispers of the murmuring shell? and nurse from his presepce. In the middle
Well, if thou wilt, I could reveal
Things wonderful and sad to hear; ages, bis strange manner, lonely habits, and
Causing each trembling heart to feel philosophical pursuits combined, would have
The throbs of sympathetic fear. doomed him to the tortures of a sorcerer.
In all his methods of research he was emi- "Tis mine to tell of treasures bright nently great. An accomplished mathemati- Hid in the ocean's coral cavescian, he brought into experimental philosophy
Of radiant gems concealed from sight
Beneath the everlasting waves. the perfection of demonstration and the ac
'Tis mine to whisper of the things curacy of detail which belong to exact sci- Which swarm the waters where I sleep,
His writings form a remarkable con- Of wild and fearful birds, whose wings trast with those of most chemical philoso
Flit o'er the bosom of the deep. phers of his period. Simple and comprehensive, theory never found a place in them as
"Tis mine to tell of countless troops fact, nor hypothesis as theory. Nowhere are Of living creatures, great and small,
Skimming the mighty waves in groups, the vague expressions, the loose notions, the
Formed by the band that maketh all. "cooking and trimming processes," which
Here is that great Leviathan, deformed the discoveries of that day, to be Who takes his pastime in the waves ; met with in the publications of Cavendish. He
And here, beyond the ken of man,
The tiniest tenant of these caves. had been brought up in the phlogistic faith; but so little are his writings tainted with the extensive errors of Stahlianisın, that they may
'Tis mine to poor in Fancy's ear
The fabled secrets of my home; be read at this time with very few correc- To tell of Mermaid's voice so clear, tions, and the mere alteration of nomencla- And water-nymphs who love to roam; ture, as illustrations of the doctrines of La- Of spirits of the air and main, voisier or Davy. His articles of belief were
Who ocean's gorgeous revels lead,
And breathe cach sweet enchanted strain, drawn up from a true view of facts, and, as
Through curtains of the rich sca-weed. such, still remain a part of the gospel of the chemical philosopher.
'Tis mine to tell of fearful nights,
And waves that with tumuliuous dask A Visit to GENERAL Tom THUMB.-We paid a
Fill the poor crew with dire despair. visit to this wonderful epitome of human nature during the past week, at his residence, in Graftonstreet, Bond-street, and our pleasure was greatly
And oh! 'tis mine to tell of rocks increased by being tête-a-tête with such a duodeci.
Hid from the mariner's keen eye; mo of mankind. He received his visitors with the Of dread and unexpected shocks, grace of a finished courtier, sang, danced, and gave
The shriek—the prayer-the dying cry. an imitation of the French Emperor with exquisite
'Tis mine to tell of gallant bark, fidelity. Numbers of the haut ton were present,
Riding the waters in her pride, who expressed the greatest admiration at his intel- Sinking like lead 'mid caverns dark, ligence, vivacity, and beauty of person. The Gen- Wrecked by the treacherous ocean tide. eral has been honored with an invite to the noble mansion of the Baroness de Rothschild, in Guns. And still 'tis mine to tell of those bury Park; a distinguished circle were present on Whose sepulchres the deep waves are; the occasion, and the highest satisfaction was ex- Of hearts ihat broke with crushing woes, pressed by the company assembled. On taking When tidings reached their homes afar. leave, a splendid purse, lined with gold, was pre- Then dost thou ask me, maiden fair, sented to the tiny wonder, by the noble hostess; The secrets of the deep to tell ? since which he has visited the American minister, And cau thy gentle spirit hear Mr. Everett, accompanied by his patron, Mr. Bar
of the murmuring shell ? num, and a party of distinguished foreign noblemen.--Court Journal.
From the Court Journal.
THE HORRORS OF A NIGHT MARCH.
THE HIGHLANDS OF ÆTHIOPIA. The supply of water brought proved insuffi
cient, and the whole company became torment
ed with burning thirst; some ran to the edge of The Highlands of Æthiopia. By Major Har- the lake, and tasted the water, but it took the skin ris. 3 vols. Longman.
from their lips. There was no remedy for their
distress; and during the afternoon, they rested There are people in the world so wrapped up in this miserable plight, shielding themselves as in the dull routine of daily life, that they believe they best could from the scorching rays of the romance has been banished by gas-lights and With the evening, they resumed their policemen. They cannot be brought to under- march; they knew there was water in abunstand that there are yet adventures to be found dance at a distance of sixteen miles, but many at this day as wonderful as those recorded in labored under the conviction that that distance fairy tales, and perils as striking and as various they should never pass. Their path wound as ever hero of romance encountered in the veri- over sheets of rugged and broken lava, and was table days of chivalry. If such people dread to
so narrow that rarely more than one person have their settled notions disturbed, let them not could pass at a time. We must find room for a take up this book by Major Harris. It is
, be short passage descriptive of yond comparison, the most interesting in its narrative, and the most startling in the facts it reveals, of any work of travel issued for some “The agonies of that dismal night set all years past.
efforts of description at defiance. Fanned by The author was sent on a mission, with a the fiery blast of the midnight sirocco, the cry suitable retinue, to the court of a Christian mon- for water, uttered feebly from numbers of arch, whose dominions, situated in the heart of parched throats, now became incessant; and the Æthiopia, have long remained unvisited. The supply of that precious element brought for the interesi commences from the instant that Major whole party falling short of one gallon and a Harris lands on the African shore, at Tajura. hall, it was not long to be answered. A tiny The march of the expedition across the desert is sip of diluted vinegar, for a moment assuaging well told, and opens a succession of scenes to the burning thirst which raged in the vitals, our view as novel as they are vivid. Scarcely again raised their drooping souls ; but its effects had they well commenced their journey, before were transient, and after struggling a few steps, they came to Lake Asgal, or the Great Salt overwhelmed, they sunk again, with husky voice Lake.
declaring their resolution to rise no more. HorsThis mighty basin is one of the wonders of es and mules that once lay down, being unable the world. Descending six hundred feet below from exhaustion to rally, were reluctantly abanthe level of the sea, it extends for several miles, doned to their fate, whilst the lion-hearted sol girded round by a chain of giant hills. The dier who had braved death at the cannon's centre of the bottom was filled with water of mouth, subdued and unmanned by thirst, lay the purest cerulean blue, unruffled as the sur- gasping by the way-side, and heedless of the face of a mirror, which seemed set in a frame of exhortation of his officer, hailed approaching frosted silver-for all around its circumference dissolution with delight, as bringing the termiwas a mighty edge of snow-white salt, the result nation of tortures which were not to be enof intense evaporation. Through this basin, dured.” and over the shore of salt, the route of our travel- The whole company must have perished, but lers lay. As they continued their descent, they that a wild Bedouin brought the fainting tralost sight of every living thing, and every sign vellers a large skin of water.
A little was apof vegetation. Not a ripple played on the wa- plied to the faces and lips of the sufferers, and ters, not a wandering bird few overhead. Mak- ihey revived; and at last, with the feelings of ing their way, as best they could, down steep men who approached the gates of paradise, or declivities, stumbling over huge rocks of basalt of those of the advanced guards of the Ten and volcanic lava, seeing all around them evi- Thousand who first exclaimed “The Sea,” dences of some mighty convulsion of the earth, they reached a running stream, and freely and of an extinguished volcano, the travellers slaked their thirst. neared the margin of the lake.
From Tajura to the frontier of the Christian At this time, it was noon; the sun was with king's dominions is a distance of four hundred out a cloud and shone with terrible effulgence miles. The whole way was, with slight excep upon the lake, which returned his rays as vivid- tions, a continued desert; and the only interruply as if it were one vast sheet of burnished steel. tions to the monotony of the march were such Scorched by the suffocating heat, the travellers incidents as we have described, or a quarrel prayed they might be visited with a breath of with some of the wild tribes of the Bedouins, or air. The hoped-for wind arose; but it was an encounter with a slave caravan, which occafound to aggravate their sufferings; it caught sionally in great numbers traversed the sandy the pulverized sand and salt, and whirled them waste. The majority of the slaves were very up into pillars, which were so illumined by the young, hardly escaped from childhood. They intense brilliancy of the sun as to appear on fire travelled bare-footed, and each male and female Sometimes these pillars burst over the cattle, in carried many days' provision and water. One creasing their distress. A horrid stench arose handful of roasted corn was their daily food. from the poisonous exhalations of the lake; cam. But as the company began the ascent of the els dropped down dead, and some of the escort Abyssinian Alps, which forms the frontier of fainted. But the worst remains to be told. the kingdom they came to visit, the scene underwent a delightful change. They found all the prisonment and unused to the light of day. vegetation of the temperate climes of Europe Linked together by chains worn bright by the blooming in the utmost luxuriance, and entered friction of years, they feebly tottered to the foot a fertile and cultivated country.
of the throne, and fell prostrate before it. Then They were favorably received by the mon- their chains were knocked off; they were proarch, who lived in rúde magnificence. His nounced free; and a place assigned them near kingdom was extensive, and his revenue ample. the monarch's person. “My children," said the The strangers soon conciliated his favor by king, turning to the embassy, “you will write all the presents they brought, and the ingenious that you have now seen to your country, and arts of life they made known to him. He gave will say to the British Queen that, though far them free permission to visit every part of his behind the nations of the white men, from whom kingdom; and thus the author was enabled to the nation of Æthiopia first received her religion, complete his account of this singular and inter- there yet remains a spark of Christian love in esting district of Africa. They shot the wild the breast of the King of Shoa." elephants, which had long been the terror of With that sentence the book concludes; and the rural population, designed and superintend- we are to understand that Major Harris yet reed the erection of a new palace for the king, mains in Shoa, to carry out the wise and Chriswhich was inaugurated with great pomp, and lian policy he has so happily commenced. made themselves in a hundred other ways use- Of such a work it is poor to say that we thank ful both to the king and his people. In return, the author for the entertainment it has afforded he concluded with them a solemn commercial us. It offers higher ground for praise. We treaty, which, by opening channels of enterprise congratulate him, not only on the well-written, and industry hitherto unknown to the population curious, and interesting book he has given to the of this fertile country, will, it is hoped, tend to world, but on his honorable and successful conthe gradual extinction of that inhuman traffic, duct of a mission which, whatever may be its which now forms the only commerce of the effect on commerce, and in this way much may people.
be anticipated from it, must have the effect of The last circumstance related is the most serving the interests of humanity, and of elevatinteresting. Never was a more affecting inci- ing the British name. With nations, as with dent related in fiction. It had, from time imme-individuals, CHARACTER of itself is station and morial—the usage, indeed, was believed to be power. It was the reputation of this country for prior to the introduction of Christianity--been justice and disinterestedness that induced the the custom to imprison all those relations of the banded nations of Europe, when France alone reigning monarch who were in such a degree stood sullen and isolated, to place in the hand of of proximity to the throne, as to be likely to dis- England the sword required for the adjustment turb his reign. The reader
, thinking of Rasse- of the Syrian question; and mightily as her force las and the Happy Valley, may conceive that was wielded, it excited no mistrust, because no their lot was not very unendurable. But the rational being doubted her intention to lay aside valley existed only in the fancy of Johnson; the her arms when the purpose for which they were victims of a tyrant's suspicion have seldom the taken up was fulfilled. This mission is comparhorrors of imprisonment mitigated by consideratively a slight circumstance, yet it will have ate treatment. The Abyssinian Princes were its effect; for in its whole management the Britconfined in dungeons, shut out from the light of ish character, under Major Harris's gallant and day, and treated as though the blood that ran able auspices, is shown dauntless under dangers in their veins was a criminal offence. The king and difficulties, intrepid in pursuit of a worthy was naturally good-natured, and his disposition object, Christian in its counsels, beneficent in had been further softened by a terrific earth- its actions, and wise, merciful, and civilizing in quake which destroyed great numbers of the its policy. people. The embassy took advantage of the moment when his heart was softened by aMiction to press their suit. They were successful; and the monarch gave orders that the prisoners should be liberated, and signified his intention to assist himself at the ceremony.
THE AMOUNT OF CARBONIC ACID EXPIRED BY A If there were books on earth, as we know there Man in TWENTY-FOUR Hours, bas often been the are records in heaven, expressly reserved for the subject of investigation among philosophers. From commemoration of deeds of mercy, charity, and a paragraph in the Medical Times, we learn that good-will, what a shining page in them would M. E. A. Scharling, after careful experiment, arbe filled by the abolition of a barbarous and bru- rives at the following conclusions. Ist, Man estal custom, which had endured beyond the mem- pires variable quantities of carbonic acid at differory of man, and by the opening of the prison ent periods of the day; 2d, Every thing being doors to the unfortunate royal race of Abyssinia. otherwise equal, man burns more carbon when his The king was seated in his balcony of justice, appetite is satisfied than when fasting, and more
when awake than when asleep; 3d, Men expire decked out for a gala day; the British embassy
more carbonic acid than women-children burn stood around him, mingling with his officers of proportionally more carbon than men; and 4th, in state; the people assembled, scarcely compre- cases of illness or fainting, the quantity of carbonic hending the news they heard, for justice and acid expired is less than in the healthy state. M. Mercy were novel terms in their ears. At a word Dumas states that he burns rather more than one from the monarch, the state gaoler ushered in hundred and sixty-six grains of carbon in the fourseven of the royal race, men worn with long im- and-twenty hours.-Chambers's Ed. Jour.
CHRONICLES OF THE KINGS OF NORWAY, their family branches, according to what has
been told me. Some of this is found in ancient From the Atheneum.
family registers, in which the pedigrees of kings
and other The Heimskringla; or, Chronicles of the Kings ed up, and part is written down after old songs
personages of high birth are reckonof Norway. Translated from the Icelandic and ballads which our forefathers had for their of Snorro Sturleson, with a Preliminary Dissertation, by Samuel Laing, Esq. 3 vols. what truth there may be in these, yet we have
amusement. Now, although we cannot just say Longman & Co.
the certainty that old and wise men held them The name of Snorro Sturleson is so well to be true.” known to all who have made northern antiqui- The work begins with the Saga of the Yngties their study, and his Chronicle has proved sling family, from the days of the great founder so rich a mine of information to writers who of the Scandinavian dynasty, Odin, to Half
have directed their attention to Scandinavian dan the Black; and it gives a rude description 1: mythology and literature, as well as history, of northern Asia, where there is a river, “ pro
that it is rather surprising that no translation of perly called by the name of Tanais, and which the work should have heretofore appeared. We falls into the ocean at the Black Sea ;” and on welcome, all the more heartily, the volumes the east of it was Asaheim; and here was the before well pleased that the translation of so city so celebrated in northern mythology, Asvaluable a work should have been undertaken gaard:by so competent a person as Mr. Laing.
“In that city was a chief called Odin, and it Snorro Sturleson, was born in 1178, in Ice-was a great place for sacrifice. It was the cusland, a country early and singularly distinguish- tom there that twelve temple Godars should ed for its literary tastes-a country in which the both direct the sacrifices, and also judge the Scalds found their latest asylum, and which people. They were called Diars, or Drotners,
boasted a printing press, and a band of schol- and all the people served and obeyed them. in ars, at the beginning of the sixteenth century. Odin was a great and very far travelled warrior,
Snorro was a member of the privileged class, who conquered many kingdoms, and eo successclaiming descent from Odin, and consequently ful was he that in every battle the victory was entitled to hold the hereditary office of Godar, on his side. It was the belief of his people that which, although no longer including the func- victory belonged to him in every battle. It was tions of priest, still allowed its possessor to act his custom when he sent his men into battle, or as judge in the district where he resided. The on any expedition, that he first laid his hand early associations of Snorro were favorable to upon their heads, and called down a blessing the future historian. He was fostered, -- a upon them; and then they believed their underphrase which signified education, rather than taking would be successful. His people also nursing,--hy John Loptson, the grandson of were accustomed, whenever they fell into danSæmund Frode, the compiler of the older Edda, ger by land or sea, to call upon his name; and and in Loptson's family he continued to live they thought that always they got comfort and until he married. He appears to have been aid by it, for where he was they thought help rapacious, ambitious, and overbearing, and has was near. Often he went away so long that he been accused of betraying the independence of passed many seasons on his journeys." his country, by aiding in reducing it to a mere The “laying his hand on their heads" seems province of Norway. It is probable, as Mr. to us to point out the Asiatic derivation of Odin Laing remarks, that much more is laid to Snorro and his followers, as much as their burning the Sturleson's charge than is really his due. In dead; and the subjoined story, we think, is de1221 he took his first journey to Norway, with cisive. Hæner and Mimir had been sent as a poem in honor of Earl Hakon Galin, who sent hostages from Asaheim :him a sword and armor. He paid subsequent “Now, when Hæner came to Vanaheim he visits to Norway ; but in 1241, his three sons-in- was immediately made a chief, and Mimir came law came by night, and murdered him, on the to him with good counsel on all occasions. But plea that he had been convicted of treason. In- when Hæner stood in the Things or other meetdeed, from the memoir prefixed to this work, ings, if Mimir was not near him, and any diffithe historian appears a veritable type of his cult matter was laid before him, he always antimes—"a man rough, wild, vigorous in thought swered in one way-Now let others give their and deed, like the men he describes in his advice;' so that ihe Vanaland people got a Chronicle."
suspicion that the Asaland people had deAt whose suggestion, or under what circum-ceived them in the exchange of men. They stances, this Chronicle of the Kings of Nor- took Mimir, therefore, and beheaded him, and way' was written, we cannot ascertain ;-prob- sent his head to the Asaland people. Odin took ably his love of tales of wild adventure prompt- the head, smeared it with herbs so that it should ed Snorro to set about the task of collecting the not rot, and sang incantations over it. Thereby materials. What these were, and from whence he gave it the power that it spoke to him, and derived, the following extract from his preface discovered to him many secrets." will show:
This notion of a human head preserved by “ In this book I have had old stories written magical art, and giving oracular replies, is one down as I have heard them told by intelligent peo-l of the most ancient Eastern superstitions. It ple, concerning chiefs who ave eld dominion takes place both Arabian and Jewish le-, in the northern countries, and who spoke the gend; it was subsequently imported from the Danish tongue; and also concerning some of East by the earliest crusaders; and the reader
may probably remember, that the possession of smoothly, that all who heard were persuaded. such a head was made one of the charges in He spoke every thing in rhyme, such as now France against the unfortunate Templars. This composed, and which we call scald-craft
. He is the account of the migration of Odin and his and his temple gods were called song-smiths, followers:
for from them came that art of song into the “There goes a great mountain barrier from northern countries. Odin could make his enenorth-east to south-west, which divides the mies in battle blind, or deaf, or terror-struck, Greater Sweden from other kingdoms. South and their weapons so blunt that they could no of this mountain ridge it is not far to Turkland, more cut than a willow twig; on the other where Odin had great possessions. But Odin hand, his men rushed forwards without armor; having foreknowledge, and magic-sight, knew were as mad as dogs or wolves, bit their shields, that his posterity would come to settle and dwell and were strong as bears or wild bulls, and in the northern half of the world. In those times killed people at a blow, and neither fire nor iron the Roman chiefs went wide around in the told upon them. These were called Bersærworld, subduing to themselves all people; and kers. Odin could transform his shape: his body on this account many chiefs fed froin their do- would lie as if dead, or asleep; but then he mains. Odin set his brothers Ve and Vixir over would be in shape of a fish, or worm, or bird, or Asgaard; and he himself, with all the gods and beast, and be off in a twinkling to distant lands a great many other people, wandered out, first upon his own or other people's business. With westward to Gardarige, (Russia) and then words alone he could quench fire, still the ocean south to Saxland, [Gerinany,) Hě had many in tempest, and turn the wind to any quarter he sons; and after having subdued an extensive pleased. Odin had a ship which was called kingdom in Saxland, he set his sons to defend Skidbladnir, in which he sailed over wide seas, the country. He himself went northwards to and which he could roll up like a cloth. Odin the sea, and took up his abode in an island which carried with him Mimir's head, which told is called Odinsö in Fyen.”
him all the news of other countries. Sometimes From this narrative we think it evident that even he called the dead out of the earth, or set Odin did not, as Mr. Laing seems to maintain, himself beside the burial-mounds; whence he actually colonize large tracts of uninhabited was called the ghost-sovereign, and lord of the country, but that he advanced upon northern mounds. He had two ravens, to whom he had Europe as a conqueror, whose superior know- taught the speech of man; and they flew far and ledge, rather than superior bravery, subjugated wide through the land, and brought him the the rude tribes that opposed him. The reader news. In all such things he was pre-eminently, will observe, that Olin is here expressly stated wise. He taught all these arts in Runes, and to have “subdued an extensive kingdom in Ger- songs which are called incantations, and theremany," | Saxland ;] and that his rule was similar fore the Asaland people are called incantationto that of the Romans in Gaul and Britain, is smiths.” proved by the assertion, that subsequently "he The whole of this extract is curious. Such, set his sons to defend the country." The fable or very similar, would be the description the which represents his sending Gefion across the rude natives of the Polynesian Islands would eea, after he had arrived in Scandinavia, proves give of their English visitants, passing over that even so far north, the land was already in their prowess, their strength, and dwelling upon habited, for King Gylfe gives her a ploughgate the wonders which their superior civilization of land; she from thence goes to Jotunheim, enabled them to perform. That'Odin pretended a strong city; and the subsequent contests of actually to supernatural powers, is, however, Odin with King Gylfe, also prove that there was evident; and it is curious to observe, that each already a powerful people in these northern fast magic art, his power of changing his form, of
composing magic songs, of paralyzing his eneThe minute description of Odin's deeds and mies, of calling up the dead, of understanding supernatural powers, is precisely what a sub- the language of birds, are all of Asiatic origin. jugated and awe-stricken people would relate Notwithstanding that peculiarity, the eating of of a conqueror, who possessed a degree of civil- horse-flesh as a religious rite—and which has ization far beyond what they had ever imagin- seemed, to many antiquaries, to point out Odin ed:
as a leader of one of the wandering Tartar “When Odin of Asaland came to the northtribes--we incline to the opinion which con, and the gods with him, he began to exercise and siders him as a prince of some more civilized teach others the arts which the people long people, perhaps one of the petty kings who afterwards have practised. Odin was the clev- fought for and were vanquished with Mithrierest of all, and from him all the others learned dates. Certain it is, that in many mechanical their magic arts; and he knew them first, and arts, especially the working in metals
, the Scanknew many more than other people. But now, dinavians, at a very early period, were far suto tell why he is held in such high respect, we perior to any of the wandering tribes who occupy must mention various causes that contributed to the steppes of northern Asia. it. When sitting among his friends his coun- Odin, we are told, died in his bed, assuring tenance was so beautiful and friendly, that the his followers he was going to Valhalla. Odin spirits of all were exhilarated by it; but when was succeeded by his son Niord. To him siche was in war he appeared fierce and dreadful. ceeded numerous kings, most of whom came to This arose from his being able to change his untimely deaths. King On, however, was decolor and form in any way he liked. Another termined to postpone his visit to Valhalla, as cause was, that he conversed so cleverly and I long as possible. His unnatural plan affords