صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

sensible of the least articulate sound. But he himself directly fell upon a device, which proved more successful. The brother was to hold the rim of the wide end of the speaking-trumpet to his upper teeth, and he himself to do the like with the lower end, or mouth-piece: upon which, his brother had scarce uttered a couple of words, but he directly repeated them with the greatest joy, and also assured him, that he understood them more distinctly than if he had bawled them in the loudest manner in his ear.

The deaf man did not stop here: in order to be convinced, whether the success was not owing to the structure of the speaking-trumpet, or whether the same thing might not succeed with other hodies; he directly tried, in the same manner, his tobacco-pipe, and a little wooden stick, and to his great joy found it not only possible, but that the speaker might even speak as low as he pleased, so the voice was only audible. The curiosity of this man and his friends did not rest here; they wanted to know, at what distance one might converse. with him : for this purpose, they took thin sticks or slips of wood, of different lengths, and one, in particular, six feet long, an inch broad, and of the thickness of the back of a knife. At Wesel, and in the country round about, they call such sticks flooring-slips or laths, which they use in filling up the openings of the boards of the flooring, when starting asunder: and such slips are the more commodious, as being thin, they the less hinder the pronunciation, and as in other respects, they produce the same effect in propagating sound: and even, by means of a bundle of them tied together, the lowest sound is distinctly audible, when the by-standers can scarce perceive any.

The farther trials and observations, which were made in the use of this method, have been confirmed by the following experiments. In the first place, upon bawling in the loudest manner, in the mouth of the deaf person, through a large tin funnel, without touching the teeth, or even without the funnel, not a single word was understood. Secondly, if the slip of wood be held too fast with the finger, or laid hold on with shut lips, the voice proves very indistinct. But, thirdly, if held with the teeth, the sensation is extremely weak. Fourthly, if the slip be held to the under teeth, there is not the least sense of hearing. Whereas, fifthly, the voice is perceptible and distinct, upon bringing, in using the slip, the tongue to the palate or to the teeth, Sixthly, the voice is less perceptible on joining the teeth together, than on their standing asunder. Seventhly, though. the mouth be full of water, the hearing is not in the least diminished. Eighthiy, when a brass or iron wire is held to the teeth, the deaf person hears nothing at all; but held between the teeth, a little. Ninthly, the deaf person may hear very well, on holding, by the lower rim, a beer-glass, to the upper teeth; or if, with the month shut, he presses it somewhat hard just under the nose, and another person directs his voice up the glass, close to it; all which answers not with a wineglass. Tenthly and lastly, the speaker must have good sound teeth, without any loose ones, at least in the up. per jaw, as then the voice is very indistinct.


No. VI.

Chacun à son gout.

MONSIEUR DE VIVONNE.-M. de V, who was general of the expedition against Messina, writing from that place to the king, closed his letter in these words: To finish the affair, we only want ten thousand men.


his letter to seal to Du Terron, commissioner for the army, who was bold enough to add, and a general.

ANECDOTE FOR THE FRENCH EMPEROR.-When Themistocles went to Andrus to demand a levy of mor.ey, he said, I bring two Gods with me, Force and PERSUASION. He was answered, and we have two stronger, WANT and IMPOSSIBILITY,

The Use OF THE EYES.-Such is the reputation of Democritus, that alroost all the world is persuaded that he put his eyes out upou moral and honourable principles. Aulus Gellius assures us that he took this resolution, in order to concentrate his ideas, and to enable him more effectually to contemplate those mysteries of Nature, into which his eyes did not suffer him to pene

trate. He quotes those verses of Laberius, wherein he says that Democritus lost his sight by looking too stedfastly on the sun. But, according to that philosopher, Deinocritus had a different view in parting with his sight: He suffered this, that he might not be mortitied with looking on vicious men. Plutarch, who had mentioned this before Aulus Gellius, considers it as an imposture. The assertion, says he, that Democritus deprived himself of sight, by looking on a burning-glass, is certainly false; yet it is true that those who accustom theinselves to mental labour, find the senses rather troublesoine than useful. For this reason the retreats of study, and the temples of the muses are generally in solitudes; and probably too, for the same reason it is that the Greeks call the night Euphrona, that is the good thinker. Because the tiine that is least subject to dissipation and variety is most favourable to thought.

Thus, Plutarch is persuaded that the man who cannot see, has a considerable advantage in point of meditation; and it was, undoubtedly, under this idea that Pythagoras shut himself up a whole winter in a subterraneous cave.

Lactantius, on the other hand, says that the mind discerns the object through the medium of the eye, as through a window. It is so essentially there, that through the same medium you may read what passes in it. Lucretius has made use of a very trilling argument to refute this. If, says he, the soul looks through the eye, it would certainly see much better, were the eye taken away. Remove the gates, and surely more light will enter. Certainly, continues Lactantius, Lucretius and Epicurus must have lost their eyes, when they could not see that the removal of thein would destroy the

passage of light.

JACOB Tonson.-There is a singular defect in the picture of King Charles the first, in whole length in armour, by Vandyke; both the gauntlets being drawn for the right hand.

When this picture was in the Wharton Collection, old Jacob Tonson, who had remarkably ugly legs, was tinding fault with the two gauntlets. Lady Wharton said, Mr. Tonson, why might not one man have two right hands, as well as another two left legs !

Till I saw this anecdote, as related by the late Horace Walpole, I was at a loss to comprehend what Pope intended by the two following lines in the Dunciad:

With arms extended Bernard rows his state,

And left-legged Jacob seems to emulate. These lines were afterwards thus altered :

With legs expanded Bernard urged the race,

And seemed to emulate great Jacob's pace. Dr. Warton has inserted the first couplet in his edition, and as he has no annotation upon it, probably was not acquainted with its meaning. (Beloe.]

PARLIAMENTARY ELOQUENCE.-Some years ago, a inember of parliament having heard many speeches in the house, to the great applause of the speakers, grew ambitious of rising into rival glory by his oratory; and accordingly watched for a favourable opportunity to open. At length an occasion presented itself. A motion was made in the house for enforcing the execution of some statute; on which the orator in embryo rose solemnly up, and after giving three loud hems, spoke as follows: “ Mr. Speaker-have we laws, or have we not laws? If we have laws, and they are not observed, to what end were those laws made ?" so saying, he sat himself down, his chest heaving high with conscious consequence; when another rose up, and delivered his thoughts in these words: “ Mr. speaker-did the honourable gentleman who spoke last, speak to the purpose, or not speak to the purpose; if he did not speak to the purpose, to what purpose did he speak?” This d-propos reply set the house in a roar of laughter, and the unfortunate orator, like Old Doiley in the farce, was content to be dummy ever after.



Your correspondent “ Detector," in No. IV. of the Cabinet, exposes Kotzebue's plagiarism in having borrowed, the story of The Little Liefrom the Adventurer; but he has omitted noticing that the story entitled “ Shun the Appearance of Vice” is equally pilfered from the same source; being a literal copy (variation of names excepted,) of the story of Desdemona, Vol. IV. Nos. 117. 118.


[ocr errors]




Resumed from page 15.

Among the thousand improbabilities attending the supposition that the great river of Abyssinia, ever was or could be considered as the Astapus, it will not escape notice, that this branch is always treated as one infinitely inferior in consequence to the Astaberas, though in point of magnitude and importance, it bears the same proportion to the Mareb, Tacazze and Dender, as London to Dublin, or a Patagonian to a Laplander.

The accounts of Herodotus are entirely irrelevant. He was told, it seems, by the Secretary of the Temple of Minerva, that the sacred river issued out of vast lakes to the southward, which he placed near Syene, the modern Assouan in Upper Egypt.-Granting even that he had, or rather Herodotus had, mistaken the name of the place, nothing is thence proved in favour of the Bahar el Abiad, which has no connection with any lake. The description can only suit the Blue River, or perhaps the Maleg. The information he details as given by the inhabitants of interior Africa with whom he conversed, has already been shewn to apply to the river called the Niger.

It is almost unnecessary to mention more modern accounts, since they are all more or less copied from Ptolemy. The river mentioned by Juba, (as quoted by Pliny) is clearly the Niger, and no other river which runs eastward. It may not be improper to remark, that Esduri, the Arabian geographer, servilely copies Ptolemy in his account of the Nile, joining much romantic nonsense of his own. He admits however what is abundantly sufficient for our purpose. He asserts that the natives of Africa declared the “ Blue River,” (which he conceives to be the Astapus) to be the true Nile, which he pretends to deny, not from his own knowledge, but from his own inistaken notion of the authority of Ptolemy. That the Bahar el Azergue was generally considered by the natives of those countries to be the VOL II.


« السابقةمتابعة »