H́nh ảnh trang
PDF
ePub

captured by the foe, and only released on condition of wearing a mask, or bandage, till six hours were expired. After communicating this intelligence he quitted the inn.

It happened that the innkeeper's wife was one of the most credulous among the weak. Terrified beyond measure, she hastened and buried all the money she could collect, and threw the household plate into the well for safety. The whole house was commotion, from the stable-yard to the topmost garret. The joke was, of course, soon detected, and the identity of the knight shortly ascertained. So high was the indignation of the silly host, when he discovered the extent of his duplicity, that he commenced an action against the waggish alarmist. The cause was tried at Winchester, when the plaintiff was deservedly nonsuited.

I cannot help taking this opportunity to regret that the public have never been gratified with a circumstantial account of the life of so distinguished a man as Fielding. I believe it is generally apprehended that the complexion of his actions would not bear a minute scrutiny, and therefore it is concluded that the task was altogether declined by those able to form a regular digest of his life. If this indeed be so, it appears to me that the surviving friends of Henry Fielding have acted most injudiciously. The world knows, that Fielding was betrayed, by the liveliness of his imagination, into many indiscretions. It knows that indulgence became habit, and that he degenerated into a character conspicuous for dissipation. It was prepared, therefore, for a record of follies, but was graciously disposed, from admiration of Fielding's talent, to meet, half way, every apology which could be offered for his eccentricities. Mankind were prepared, likewise, to reap a lesson of instruction from a detail of the shoals which shipwrecked the morals of one so eminently gifted with genius, and so elevated in sentiment, during the labours of his recluse hours.

There is a species of sublimity (as we have been taught by Burke, in silence, which magnifies the presumed deformity of the object concealed by taciturnity. Thus the world forms a most terrific idea of the errors which it is led to believe are too enormous to meet the light. Fielding has left a son conspicuous for talent, who must be possessed of documents for the biography of his father. What a noble offering to the memory of an illustrious parent would be an apology for the life of Fielding, (if indeed an apology be requisite,) from the pen of this gifted descendant?

I have now before me Fielding's last performance, his Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon. How tender are his expressions regarding the children he was about to quit-for ever! Methinks it would be but a due return, for his offspring to pen a vindication of his fame, or, at any rate, to raise a literary monument to his memory! I remain, yours, &c. J. N. B.

MISCELLANEOUS,

Wahabites.-A correspondent of the Institute has presented a most afflicting contrast, on the "History of the Pachalike of Bagdad," where he has resided for some years. The fine country, for which nature has done so much, has, since the decline of the empire of the Khalifs, been successively devastated by the Persians, i artars, and Turks. It still, however, retains some traces of its former magnificence, and on account of its natural fertility always possesses within itself the means of a renovated prosperity. The inhabitants are perpetually menaced, however, by a warlike, fanatical, and formidable sect, called the Wahabites, who have formerly made incursions into their territories, during which they treated the natives with the greatest injustice, cruelty, and opression.

The Wahabites consist of certain Arabs of the desert, who, during the last half century, have subjugated all the neighbouring tribes in succession, and have at length attained such an amazing degree of preponderance and celebrity, that they have spread affright and consternation throughout all the country, from the Persian Gulf to the confines of Syria. They derive their name from the father of their founder, who did not pretend to innovation, but to reform and restore the Koran, so as to bring it back to its original purity. They combat against those who profess any other religion than their own, but they are most exasperated against the Mahometans, as their own sect consists of Heretics; they expect crowns of martyrdom for themselves, provided they die in battle, and deem it agreeable to God to massacre, pillage, and destroy, all whom they are pleased to term infidels.. There are no exploits, however formidable, and no crimes, however odious, that may not be expected from this union of warlike ferocity and religious fanaticism.

Madeira House-The malignant war which has existed in Europe for the last twenty years, having destroyed the intercourse of this country with Southern Europe, and it being no longer permitted to opulent invalids to resort to those climes for the restoration of their health, it has lately been conceived, that, if an artificial climate, equal in temperature to the most salubrious parts of Italy, could be formed in our own island, we might expect results somewhat similar. Since the possession of Madeira by the English, that island has afforded hope to invalids; but, the expense and inconvenience of a voyage thither being commensurate with the means of only few persons, it has been proposed, to erect and maintain, at CLIFTON, a house and covered grounds, built and fitted for these purposes, to be called a

MADEIRA HOUSE, in which the temperature of that island is to be constantly maintained. The difference of climate principally consisting in temperature and moisture-if the means of having a dry, warm, and uniform atmosphere, are attainable in England, the object of invalids will, in great measure, be effected. The expense of such an undertaking being unavoidably great, the most eligible plan has appeared to be to create a fund, by subscription,-as 50,000l. in 500 shares, at 1001. each the shares to be transferable. The salubrity of the air of Clifton, with the power of supplying the building with the Hotwell water, have pointed it out as the most proper place in the island for such an institution. It is intended to concentrate within it whatever can contribute to the restoration of health. The public rooms, staircases, and passages, are to be kept at the summer temperature of 62 or 65 degrees, and the private apartments are to be furnished with the means of being kept at any temperature which the feelings of the resident may suggest as most desirable, or his physician prescribes. An extensive conservatory for exotics is to be formed as a promenade for the residents; in addition to which, pleasure-grounds are to be laid out and cultivated as a Botanic garden. A covered circus is to be connected for equestrian exercise, at all seasons, and provision made for other exercises, suited to the strength of the invalid, both active and passive. It is proposed also to introduce baths of every description, and a constant supply of the most approved mineral waters. Thus the inhabitants of the Hygeian Temple may avail themselves, in one spot, of all the scattered gifts of Nature, which the experience of ages has proved to be beneficial to the restoration of health. The building is intended to accommodate fifty persons, each to have two rooms, one adjoining the other; with a dressing-room, capable of lodging a private attendant. There is also to be a suit of public rooms, adequate to the accommodation of the whole of the inmates. sing each person to pay 2001. per annum, or per winter, a revenue of 10,0001. per annum will arise, adequate to pay interest to the share holders, and to support the institution. The estimate for the building is 40,000,-the purchase of the ground, and other expenses, at least, 10,0001. The area for the house and gardens is to cover four acres— which will allow space sufficient for the promenades, circus, botanic garden, and pleasure-grounds. Dr. KENTISH, is to be the resident physician, and Mr. BUSBY is named as the architect.

Suppo

Literary Prodigy. The following account is extracted from the Moniteur of May 28.-Gottingen, May 20.-For these eight months we have had among the students of our university, a boy ten years and a half old, who is a real phenomenon. The name of this young savant is Charles Witte. He understands the languages, history, geography, and literature, as well ancient as modern: at the age of eight years he possessed, besides his mother-tongue, Greek, Latin, French, English, and Italian, to such a degree of perfection, that he could not only translate currently, the Eneid of Virgil, and the Iliad of Homer, but could besides speak, with an astonishing facility, all the living languages which has been just mentioned. Of this, the last year gave such satis

factory proofs in a public examination, which he underwent at the University of Leipsic, that that Body honoured him with the following diploma:

Alma Universitatis Lipsiensis Rectore Carolo Gottlob Kuhnio, etc. etc.
Carolus Witte Lochaviensis puer IX. annorum.

Propter præmaturam eximiamque in iis quibus non puerilis,, sed adolescen tum ætas inbui solet, solertiam; potissimum veró linguarum antiquarum græcæ ac latinæ, item recentiorum franco-gallicæ, anglica, etruscæ, notitiam haud vulgarem, quam a nemine nisi à patre Carolo Henrico Godofrego unico et solo præceptore accepit.

Exemplo plane singulari non modo albo Philyriæ (Leipsick) insertus, serum etiam datà fide, civibus Academiæ nostræ adscriptus est.

Till his arrival at Gottingen, this child had no other instructor than his father, the clergyman Witte. The king of Westphalia, desirous that he should continue to direct the studies of his son to their termination, has granted him a pension, which has enabled him to quit his pastoral functions, and to accompany his pupil to our university. The young Witte is now studying philosophy: he is engaged in a course of mathematics, physicks, and metaphysicks, and shews the most happy disposition for all the sciences.

Panharmonicon.-Of the many exhibitions of human ingenuity displayed in this country, the Panharmonicon, invented by Mr. J. Gurk, a native of Vienna, is certainly amongst the most remarkable. In this machine, after seven years of unremitting labour, the artist has succeeded in producing a complete self-acting band of musical instruments the whole of which are conprehended within a frame of about six feet in length, four feet in width, and about nine feet in height. The appearance of the machine is that of a canopy bed, with elegant blue silk furniture. The front view presents to the spectator a row of thirty-one oboes, and twenty German flutes, placed perpendicularly, as the pipes of an organ; the ends resting on a frame raised somewhat less than two feet from the floor. Behind these is a considerable number of square pipes of wood, also placed perpendicularly. Above these instruments are placed four French horns, the mouths directed towards the front of the machine; and on the same frame are fixed fourteen trumpets, in a perpendicular position. Behind these are a pair of kettle drums, with a triangle on the one side, and a pair of cymbals on the other. Above is a double drum; and in the front, behind the flutes and oboes, a regimental drum, in a perpendicular position. At the back of the machine is a barrel, like that of a common organ, five feet in length and nine inches in diameter, resting in a horizontal position on its axis, about two feet from the floor. Within the base of the machine is a pair of bellows, which supply the flutes, oboes, and other pipes. Immediately beneath the trumpets and French horns is a smaller pair of bellows, comprehended within what appears merely a cross bar. The mechanism by which the machine is put in action, consists of three distinct parts. The first actuates the flutes, oboes, pipes, and drums; the second the trumpets, French horns and triangle; and the third the cymbals. The several parts being wound up as

[blocks in formation]

a clock, the pins upon the revolving barrel raise small brass lavers, which communicate by cords with the different valves and stops of the various instruments. German Waltzes, and full pieces by Mozart, Romberg, and Starke, are performed with great correctness; but the watch reli f of the Emperor's guard, at Vienna, is peculiarly grand, from the powerful effect of the horns and trumpets. The tones produced by the combination of flutes, oboes, and pipes, bear some resemblance to those of the organ. The pieces are not rapidly performed, but the effect is grand and striking. We understand that this machine having been submitted to a minute inspection of the connoisseurs at Leipsic, the inventor received unbounded approbation from those critics, esteemed the first in Europe, with regard to musical science and mechanism. The execution of the trumpet notes had been pronounced impossible till the completion of this extraordinary machine, which will deservedly become an object of universal curiosity during its exhibition in this country. It is indeed an astonishing effort of human ingenuity and perseverance. Mr. Gurk is a performer on every instrument, comprehended in this elaborate piece of mechanism.

Massacre. An account of the horrible massacre in Egypt has been transmitted to England by a young gentleman of Hull. He was at Alexandria when the slaughter commenced, on the 1st of March; and in his passage up the Nile, he met the heads, in pickle, of 24 Beys, going as a present to the Grand Signior at Constantinople. On his arrival at Grand Cairo, he saw the heads of the ordinary Mamelukes ranged before the doors and windows of the mosques, to be owned by the relations of the deceased. The massacre continued for several days. The Pacha of Egypt defends his conduct in ordering the massacre by stating, that the Beys had formed a plan to atack him as soon as the military force of 15,000 men should have been ordered against Mecca and Medina.

Description of the Guerillas.-This is a hardy race :-They generally perambulate in small parties, according in number to the object they have in view; their unceasing thirst for spoil makes them extremely active in learning where the enemy are contemplating to convey baggage or provisions; and the perfect knowledge of these Guerillas have of every tract of the country, gives them a decided advantage, in being able to watch and way-lay the enemy's transports. They are unremitting in their labours, night and day, when they have any object in view; and their information is generally correct. The dress and look of these marauders (as the enemy term them) are enough to inspire dread; they wear an immense cap, covered with fur, which is tied by a black belt under the chin; a loose dark jacket is thrown care. lessly over their shoulders, and at the side of their horses hangs the destructive weapon of terror, a lance, which measures about ten feet; the sharp point fixes into a leather tube, which is suspended from the saddle to the off-shoulder of the horse, on the right side; in the centre of the handle of the weapon is a strap affixed, to secure it from impeding the animal's progress, or inconveniencing the rider; and when

« TrướcTiếp tục »