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dren born of their slaves after the 12th August, 1816, should be free; thereby putting an end to domestic slavery, which had prevailed in Ceylon for three centuries.
The 12th of August was the day fixed upon by Sir Alexander for the commencement of the era of liberty; that being the birthday of the then Prince Regent, our present most gracious Sovereign, in order that the slaves might associate the more indissolubly the idea of the freedom of their descendants with that of reverence for the Crown, under the protection of which that blessing was received.
To commemorate that event, Mrs. H. More wrote a little lyric drama, entitled The Feast Of Freedom; or the Abolition of Domestic Slavery in Ceylon. This has already been rendered into many of the Indian languages: its first translation was made into the Cingalese by the Buddoo priests, who were brought to this country by Sir Alexander Johnston. One of these priests was a physician and a painter, and both are elegant poets, and considerable linguists.
Mr. Charles Wesley, Organist in Ordinary to his Majesty, set this to music, and performed it before his Majesty at Windsor, on his birth-day, August 12, 1827. This led to the publication of the piece with the music, to which Mrs. H. More added a few unpublished trifles, which were printed in a very thin volume, and the profits given to the appointed Irish Scripture Readers, and the Irish Tract Society.-See Mrs. H. More's publication.
It seems from the Preface to Miss Baillie's drama of The Bride, just published, that the drama is an entertainment much admired by the people of Ceylon; and frequently made use of as the most effectual mode of imparting instruction. With this view, some of the sacred dramas of Mrs. H. More have been translated into Cingalese, under the auspices of Sir A. Johnston, and likewise Miss Baillie's drama of The Martyrs; and that lady has now written The Bride, with an express view of meeting the taste and passions of that interesting people. The profits arising from its publication in England are to be devoted towards procuring translations of other works into the Cingalese language; so that the purchasers of the work, besides the high gratification which they will receive from the perusal of it, will contribute to the moral and religious improvement of the people of Ceylon.
15.-ASSUMPTION OF B. V. M. This is a festival, in the Greek and Romish churches, in honour of the supposed miraculous ascension of the Virgin Mary into heaven.-See an account of a splendid pageant formerly exhibited at Dieppe in honour of this day, in T.T. for 1823, pp. 224-227.
24.-SAINT BARTHOLOMEW. For some interesting historical matters relating to this day, consult our former volumes, particularly the last, pp. 196-198.
28.-SAINT AUGUSTINE. He was born in the year 354; in 391 was chosen Bishop of Hippo; and died in 430, at the age of 76.
29.-JOHN BAPTIST BEHEADÉD. This day was formerly denominated Festum Collectionis Sancti Johannis Baptiste; or the feast of gathering up St. John the Baptist's relics. His nativity is celebrated on the 24th of June, which see. Consult also T.T. for 1823, p. 234.
Ancient Font in Stepney Church. *AUG. 1823.-M. GARNERIN DIED, The celebrated aëronaut, who first made the experiment of descending in a parachute.-For an account of this intrepid balloonist, see Gentleman's Magazine, vol. xciii, p. ii, p. 642.
Journeying on high the silkeri castle glides,
Silent, with upturned eye, unbreathing crowds
In the darkness of the middle ages, every man distinguished by superior knowledge was supposed to possess the power of flying in the air: the idea soon descended to a lower class of projectors, many of whom perished in their unskilful attempts. So early as the reign of Harold, in the eleventh century, Elmer, a monk of Malmsbury, made one of these dangerous experiments : and, in the true spirit of an inventor, though he failed, still he believed it possible to succeed. Milton, in his History of Britain, speaking of this monk, says— He, in his youth strangely aspiring, had made and fitted wings to his hands and feet; with these, on the top of a tower, spread out to gather air, he flew more than a furlong; but the wing being too high, he came fluttering down to the maiming of all bis limbs : yet so conceited was be of his art, that he attributed the cause of his fall to the want of a tail, as birds have, which he forgot to make to his hinder parts.?
We need not, however, go so far back as the middle ages, since, so late as the year 1755, a fanciful scheme, on the grandest scale, for navigating the atmosphere, was made by one Joseph Galien, a Dominican friar at Avignon. This visionary proposed to collect the fine diffuse air of the higher regions, where hail.is formed, above the summit of the loftiest mountains, and to inclose it in a bag of a cubical shape and of the most enormous dimensions, extending a mile every way, and composed of the thickest sailcloth. With such a vast machine, far outrivalling in the boldness and magnitude the ark of Noah, be thought it would be possible to transport a whole army through the air, with all their munitions of war. Men of science had long been acquainted with the principles on which a balloon could be conducted, but it was reserved for Stephen and Joseph Montgolfier, sons of the proprietor of an extensive paper manufactory at Annonay in France, to reduce these principles to complete effect: The first public ascent of a balloon was exhibited at their native town on the 5th of June, 1783. They afterwards constructed one on a larger scale at Paris, which reached the height of 1500 feet. A sheep, a cock, and a duck, which had been put into the basket, the first animals ever carried up in the air, were found perfectly safe and unhurt by the journey, and the sheep was even feeding at perfect ease.
The first aërial voyage ever made by man, was on the 21st of November, 1783, when Pilatre de Rozier, a young naturalist of great promise, accompanied by the Marquess d'Arlandes, ascended from the Chateau de Murette. When the balloon was launched, wonder mixed with anxiety was depicted in every countenance; but when, from their lofty station in the sky, the navigators calmly waved their bats, and saluted the spectators below, a general shout of acclamation burst forth on all sides. As they rose much higher, however, they were no longer visible to the naked eye; they,
In the surging smoke
traversed by a circuitous route the whole of Paris. The daring aëronauts, after a journey of twenty-four or twenty-five minutes, in which they described a track of six miles, safely alighted beyond the Boulevards. Such was the prosperous issue of the first aërial navigation ever performed by mortals; it was a conquest of science which all the world could understand. Other experiments were now made in rapid succession, and some of the adventurers soared to the immense height of thirteen thousand feet. Of the history of balloons since that period, little remains to be said; for neither in their construction norin the manner of steering them has there been much improvement, though aërial ascents have been frequent in every country of Europe.
Voyage in a BALLOON.
Mordaunt's Imitation of the Peace of Aristophanes. AUG. 1828.-SIR WILLIAM CONGREVE DIED. He was descended from a family settled in Staffordshire, when that county formed part of the kingdom of Mercia. His father, the first baronet (so created in 1812), was an officer of rank in the artillery. Sir William was born in the year 1770, and entered
young in the same branch of military service. Having a great mechanical genius, he effected many important improvements. In 1808, he invented a formidable engine of military annoyance, which, having been tried and approved, was used by Lord Cochrane in Basque Roads—in the expedition
against Walcheren-in attacks on several places in Spainat Waterloo, &c. The effects of these weapons, generally called Congreve Rockets, and now adopted in the armies of all the European powers, are tremendous. They have been employed, also, in a modified form, in the whale fishery. Sir William Congreve was Equerry to the King, Comptroller of