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often and so thoroughly discussed as the weather. It and the sunbeams poured from the bright world abore is the breath of life to old and young, to rich and poor, them and kindled in the east a rainbow that dropped and when it comes, so fiercely hot as during the last its column of colored light into the ocean. I would week, we suffer—and suffering there are few that do commend any one afflicted with self-exaggeration to a not complain. Besides, is it not a positive evil during solitary walk on a sea-beach. All selfism is lost in an the month of June, when the summer is in the fresh. overpowering sentiment of reverence. I had an almost ness and beauty of her youth, the only month that painful feeling of illimitable power, but as I turned in our northern region shadows forth a poet's spring, from the surf which was breaking magnificently, a is it not an evil to be imprisoned in a city, to have sweet breath from the landward clover-fields met me, your senses deprived of the nutriment prepared by and filled my eyes with tears and my heart with senHeaven to restore them to their natural ministry to the sations like those that answer the voices of kindred, or mind; for, do not the odors and the music of June (to are called forth by the little beam that greets us from say nothing of the strawberries!) awaken the dullest the candle in our own home, when we return from a imagination ?
stranger's dwelling. A week in the city, in June, is then always a loss, Monday evening brought me three letters. Where but a week like the last, when the mercury, in our do letters not come except as Johnson lamented, not to coolest apartments, stood at 80°, and in the warmest at the grave ? Chance could hardly throw together the a point that would not have seemed enviable to the productions of three more remarkable women than my wretches in the hottest circle of Dante's Inferno: after correspondents—the least of them in the world's eye is such a week's experience in town, the change to Rocka- the greatest, perhaps in the kingdom of heaven. way makes one feel, as Dives might have felt if the has many high faculties, some almost preternatural gulph had not been impassable that divided him from powers that does not approach; clearer moral Lazarus. For the last seven days not a drop of rain perceptions and loftier aspirations no one has. They are had fallen, the air was thick and heavy with impalpa- not unlike in that quality that, like a pure atmosphere ble dust, the very leaves on the trees seemed to feel it gives vigor and effect to all others-naturalness. too hot to move and the poor little caged birds that Neither has - the varied and enriching experience, had been singing themselves and us into forgetfulness the glowing imagination and the almost unlimited acof our exile from Nature, were withdrawn from their quisitions of Mrs. ---; but she has a healthier and airings, and were silently languishing in darkened therefore a happier spirit. She has the spontaneous apartments. We had cast off every garment that richness and goodness that are God's gifts, and as could be dispensed with ; our flannels were forgotten superior to any acquired talents or results of virtuous friends. I was suddenly summoned here to join a very efforts as sunlight to lamplight, or the gracious showers dear invalid friend, and I set off to do the most agreea. from the clouds to the pourings from a watering-pot
. ble thing in the world with the delightful self-compla. Her mind seems, without an effort (for you see no cency resulting from the performance of a duty. The Auttering of the wings) to rise to the highest altitude : golden cup given to the miser in Parneli's apologue is and, kind and patient, without any apparent stooping, an illustration of the profuseness, with which Provi- to come down to the least duty. While poor is dence throws golden pleasures into the scale of our beating her golden feathers off against every limit as duties. My companion was a charming school.girl, if limits were prison walls, is singing on eFery who enjoyed with a school-girl's relish the unexpected bough, feathering every nest as well as her own, and transition from her tasks to our excursion. As we feeding every chance bird. hurried down Broadway to take the four o'clock rail-car Tuesday.—The gay season for watering places has at Brooklyn, the heat was intense. In the ferry-boat not yet come, and beside the untiring and ever-exciting we felt the life-restoring sea-breeze that came sweeping view of the sea, there is little to vary life here; there up the bay ; and when the cars began their flight, we are drives on the beach, and when the tide is up, round were cooled down to the temperate point. At Jamaica, the pretty rural lanes of the interior, past the farthwhere we were transferred to Mou's waggon and enter. houses, where you see plenty of pig-nurseries and hened on the pretty country road that leads to the beach, coops, where generations are preparing for the allthe wind was so cool that we wrapped our blanket | devouring jaws of the New York market. Then we shawls close around us, and here we have found them have those three great daily events of all watering sitting with the windows down, and we feel as if we places, breakfast, dinner and tea, diversified by the had jumped from a hot bath into a snow-bank. liberality of Messrs. Blake & Mead, and the ingenuity
And here before my window is the "great and wide of French cooks. And we have arrivals and departures. sea.” What an image of eternity it is at this moment At this moment there is standing before the piazza a shrouded in mist! You hear it's mighty voice-you carriage built upon the model of an English mail-coach, know it's reality, and that “therein are things innumera- with four grey horses, their master seated on the ber ble ;” but beyond the line where human feet tread, you with a friend; the coachman and footman in frock coats see nothing-There where the breakers fall, as upon the shorts, and white top boots in the dickey, and the lady
, borders of human life, is all the dia and uproar. Be- her nurses and children, inside. The coach and harness yond, through that immeasurable distance, all seems are blazoned with stags' heads and other heraldie deri
: repose ; and seems so only because it is like eternity, ces
. Some impertinent whispers asking from which hidden from our vision.
side of the house these anti-republican emblems are Monday, P. M.—I went alone to walk on the beach. derived, are suppressed from respect to the unpre There had been a storm, and the clouds that were wildly ending lady, who, with her pretty children, the pics scudding over the heavens bere and there, broke away, I ture of an American matron, is courteously sailing
and bowing her adieux. The sarcasm is changed to
COMMENCEMENT ANNIVERSARY. GEORGETOWN
COLLEGE. THE DINNER, &c. bad Charles Lamb's art of putting les petits morales in picturesque lights, would write an essay upon the mo- My dear White :--As the appropriate vehicle of such infor. ralities of a watering-place! Essays have been written mation, I beg to ask you to devote a page or two of the demonstrating that the most common extravagance interesting, intellectual, and social treats it has ever been my
Southern Literary Messenger to the record of one of the most consisted in the thoughtless expenditure of hours and good fortune to partake of. I allude to the Annual Commence. shillings. Is there not a similar waste from carelessness ment of the Georgetown College, which took place on the 24th of those lesser moralities, which make up the sum of July, 1838. You and your work were remembered both in the most people's virtues? There are few (certainly few college, and at the festive board, upon that occasion, and in a women,) born to "point a moral or adorn a tale" - few manner, too, which would have given you much pleasure and
pride to hear. Charlotte Cordays or Elisabeth Frys; but all, by The literary exercises were, in the main, highly respectable economising small but abundant opportunities of pro- to the students who had parts. Where all was so good, it would ducing, not great good, but agreeable sensations, may words with regard to the performances of the four graduates,
be invidious, perhaps, to particularise ; yet I must say a few add materially to the sum of human happiness. At a and one or two of the undergraduates, who had exercises, for watering place, for example, if a gentleman, instead of prizes and premiums. or those who graduated, young Doyle casting a doubtful or sarcastic glance at a newly ar- of New York, and Green of Washington, had the first parts. rived stranger, bestow some trifling courtesy-if it be The valedictory of Doyle was very well written, but delivered but a bow or a word of kind greeting, enough to express very badly, on account of the imperfectness with which it had
been committed. Another part, by the same young gentleman, we are fellow-beings”—especially if the new comer in defence of Natural, as compared with Moral Philosophy, as happen to be not fashionable, not comme il faut, and the a science, was far more creditable to him, both in matter and saluter be soit will be seen that a sunbeam has fallen manner, and was, as well as the oration of Green, upon Ancient across the stranger's path: and who can estimate the and Modern Republics, a very good specimen of youthful com. value of a sunbeam, a moral sunbeam?
position and eloquence. The latter was perhaps too strongly
imbued with a sectional political feeling,-a fault, which the obAll the world are purveyors of pleasure for the vious good sense and judgment of the talented young author will fashionable and beautiful; but there are at all watering. most surely correct, whenever he finds it obtruding upon more places, unknown, unattractive and solitary beings, who practical efforts, hereafter. I would here remark, that it seemed are cheered by a slight courtesy expressing the courtesy to be the general impression that Green was entitled, all things of the heart. An invalid may be relieved of weary mo honor, instead of Doyle. Young Ford took up the defence of
considered, and so far as those present could judge, to the first ments by a patient listener to his complaints: this is Moral, against the oration of Doyle in favor of Natural Phi. perhaps weakness, but never mind; let the weak losophy, as a science, and produced a very creditable essay, in profit by the strength of the strong, and an easy obe point of composition. The manner of treating it was somewhat dience will be rendered to the great precept, “Bear
common-place, however. Luckett of Maryland produced quite
ye one another's burdens.” An old man may be gratified argument against the senseless practice of duelling, and gave
a sensation by his vigorous, spirited, and admirably delivered (at small expense,) by the offer of precedence at table, promise thereby, of future distinction, if his life be spared, and or a privileged seat on a sofa.
his present ambition holds, in the councils of his country. As he I have known ladies, long disused to such courtesies, has now stepped but a single pace upon the stage, will he par. brightened for half an hour by a courteous picking up hints as to manner? His style is very fine and effective, but he
don an admirer of his talents for suggesting to him one or two of a dropped pocket-handkerchief. There are small speaks far too rapidly; a fault which was remarked also in the sins of commission, as well as of omission, thoughtlessly performance of Green, which, beautiful as it was, was yet enacted. For instance, a wretched dyspeptic complain- greatly marred by the extreme indistinctness consequent upon ed to me this morning that he lost his two hours sleep the rapidity with which he spoke. Mr. Luckett must alter his (all the fiend allows him,) by reason of one of his present mode of pronouncing those familiar words in our lan.
which terminate in ore, before he can become a finished neighbors taking a fancy to walk the gallery half the speaker. He invariably gave that termination the sound of simple night in creaking boots. And at this moment half a o or oe; as stoe for "store," befoe for “ before,”-and the like. dozen lawless children are shouting and screaming in 1 cannot forbear to add to this notice an expression of sincero the gallery adjoining the room of an invalid who is and earnest hope that Mr. Luckett will carry out with him, from
the University into the world, the same stern Roman sentiments vainly trying to sleep. Are not these violations of the with regard to the absurd custom of duelling, which he so elolaws of humanity ? and should creaking boots be worn quently and forcefully denounced in this oration. by any but the confessed enemies of their race? and is While on the subject of verbal criticism, I will notice a comit not enough to make a misanthrope of a Burchell, 10 mon mispronunciation of one other of the most familiar words have the music of children's footsteps converted into in the language, which struck my ear during the delivery of
Green's performance. It is an error into which members of such an annoyance ?
congress, in both chambers, are continually falling, but derives Ah when shall we see the principle of brotherhood, from that fact, no good philological sanction. I allude to the that informs the great operations of philanthropists, pronunciation of " inalienable” as if spelt inaleenable, with the brought to bear upon the common charities of lifc emphasis on the third syllable
. Walker's Johnson gives the
sound of this word thus : in-ale-ye-nable ; which is certainly upon the
social relations in these summer resorts, not only much easier to articulate, but is also a great deal more where people “most do congregate ?”—How it would euphonical to the ear. annihilate distances between man and man, bring There were several performances from the pen of young down the loftiness of the lofty, and exall the de. Lewis (an undergraduate) of Tennessee, which promise very pressed !-How it would kindle up the evening horizon brightly for the future poetical fame of the precocious author.
He seems to have adopted the heroic measure as his forte, and of the aged, and disperse the mists from the dawn of gave some very pretty paraphrases of passages in Grecian and the young!
Roman history, somewhat in the manner of Pope and Dryden.
But he has originality of genius enough 10 vary this style of white man. This was a very pretty episode, and went off with composition ; and if he would turn his attention to the lighter much eclat. and more popular measures, he might make his verse the seed Wm. B. Lewis, Esq., being called on for a toast, gave the of greener and broader laurels than now deck the brows of many health of the Archbishop of Baltimore, the President of the a modern poet.
Day,--who happily replied,- and offered a sentiment in honor Cuyler gave us a very good syllabus of American authors, of the Order who had founded and reared the Institution, in with a clever running sketch of the growth and achievement whose halls the company were partaking of the pleasures of of American literature. But I am at a loss to perceive the force cordial hospitality. To this tbe Ex-Rector of the College reof that criticism which concedes the palm of preference over sponded appropriately, and gave the health of all our writers to Mr. N. P. Willis, and places Bryant, Halleck, William Joseph Walter, Esq., of England--one of the guests Percival, Irving, Cooper, and the rest, in a lower niche. present, a literary friend and brother; who, in his turn, gave
The prizes and premiums were awarded by Archbishop Ec- “ The sons of St. Ignatius; the great promoters or enlightened cleston of Baltimore, with much imposing ceremony, and the education, and the firm upholders of truly liberal opinions, parts assigned to the recipients were all very creditably per. throughout the world.” formed. There was very fine music by a well-conducted band Alexander Dimitry, Esq. of Washington,-late of Louisiana, interspersed among the exercises, and, at about noon, the large and a distinguished Alumnus of the College, --being alluded to in audience separated with great apparent satisfaction with the a highly complimentary toast, proposed the health of " James F. treal they had been enjoying..
Olis, Esq. : whose contributions to the Southern Messenger have After taking a view of the fine prospects which are to be seen rendered good service to the advancement of that literature, or from every point of view about the college, and having ex. which that periodical is the able organ.” To this toast Mr. amined the well-ordered arrangements for the comfort, conve- Oris briefly responded, and closed with the following sentiment: nience, health and happiness of the students, I had the honor “ Georgetoon College. In these classic shades may many an of sitting down, with other invited guests, at one of the most American scholar yet find his Academe, many a future poet his sumptuous and social banquets it was ever my happiness to Castaly, and many a statesman his Egeria.” partake or. The venerable Archbishop of Baltimore presided, Mr. Hoban of Washington, one of the Alumni, having been with much dignity and urbanity, over the festive board, around complimented in a toast, by one of the graduales of the day, which were seated citizens from every part of the District, with addressed the table with fine effect for a few moments ; during several from different states in the Union, without distinction of which, in a strain of eloquence which reminded me of what I religious sect. It was truly delightful to witness the proofs or had heard of the style of Curran, Phillips and Shiel, he dwek attachment and devotedness to the prosperity of their Alma upon the variety of professions for which, in after life, the ste. Maler evinced by several of the Alumni, who were present,- dents of that Institution were fitted by the course of study there while the invited guests, generally, with that liberality which pursued. It was a beautiful tribute to bis Alma Mater, and I is the sure promoter of socialness and good-feeling, were by no regret that I was unable to jot down some noles, as he spoke, means backward in bearing their parts in the festivity of the from which to present your readers with a better idea of the occasion.
whole thing. The first sentiment, after the cloth was reinoved, was given Mr. Haxtun of Washington, being called on for a sentimene, by the Rev. Mr. Mulledy, late principal of the college. Premio indulged the company with a fine specimen of badinage, intended, sing that it was a custom of the Institution to give a parting obviously, as a humorous burlesque of the common style of addinner to the graduates, annually, he said that he was reminded dressing public assemblies. It was a piece of mock-heroic eloof the origin of the word “graduate, "--which came from Gra. quence, which convulsed the audience with laughter, as well dior, gradi, gressus,--lo walk. His sentiment should be, May by the cleverness of the conception, as by the irresistible drollery our graduates “walk' as they have been taughh.
with which it was delivered. I closed, characteristically, ash To which Mr. Doyle happily replied ; expressing the hope, a toast to “The memory of - -Julius Casar!” This was a that the graduating class of that day might realize the wish of bit of fun worthy of “Boz" himself. the reverend ex-president, by emulating the example, as well The Marine Band of Washington, (who were in attendance as remembering the teachings, of their instructors.
during and aster dinner,) were appropriately toasted by one of Mr. Lynch of Maryland was next toasted, in appropriate and the Vice Presidents of the table, as “an annual source of plea. flattering terms, as one of the Alumni of the Institution, who sure to the residents and visiters of Georgetown College." had, by his recent contributions to the Southern Literary Mes. Whereupon the band played a brilliant overture, which was senger, reflected great credit upon his Alma Mater. Among rapturously applauded. other happy things said in this connection was that from one Rev. Mr. Ryder of Philadelphia, an Alumnus, was called out of the faculty, in allusion to the article in the July number of by a complimentary sentiment, offered to him, as an ex-presithe Messenger, upon the 'Influence of Romance upon Morals;' dent of one of the literary associations of the college, by ose “ Lynch-law to immoral writers !” This sally was received of the present members. His response was brief and appro. with much applause ; but nothing would draw out the subject of priate, and closed with an allusion to Mr. Ous of New England, it: his modesty was found to be indomitable, and nothing was one of the guests : to which the latter responded, and look the heard from Mr. Lynch. Sed pennå loquitur.
occasion, as a native of Massachusetts, to pay a well-deserved Mr. George Washington Park Custis, of Arlington, being tribute to the memory of the late Cardinal Cheverus; whose complimented by the president of the day, as a steady friend of ministrations at Boston had won for him the universal respect the Institution, and an ever-welcorne guest at its festive board, and affection of the whole of that enlightened community, wah: entertained the company with a very interesting anecdote oi out any sectarian exceptions. This allusion was received with General Washington and an Indian prophet, who, in the old much satisfaction, and was feelingly acknowledged by tao war, had eloquently foretold the future greatness of Paler venerable president of the day, the Archbishop of the diocess. Patriæ. This was followed by the sentiment, “The Oratory of Several other sentiments were offered, some songs were sung, Nature: the only true Eloquence."
and then, the hour being yet early, the table was dismissed -Mr. Mulledy here volunteered to bring in a proof of the cor. the whole assembly separating with many a pleasing recollet: rectness of this sentiment of Mr. Custis ; and, having retired tion to be called up hereafter, of a day so socially, intellectually for a moment, soon returned with a very good “counterfeit pre- and happily spent. sentment of an Indian chieftain,
Yours, my dear White, "All painted and plumed in his savage array," and smoking the long pipe of peace. This character was sus. tained with great effect by a distinguished sculptor of the Dis. trict, who has lately been making it his study for professional
FLATTERY. purposes. He [Mr. Peterich) delivered a very clever desence or the fine arts, and sculpture particularly, in the characteristic
An elegant writer observes, “The coin that is most current style of the rod man, (a gentleman present acting as interpre. among mankind is Flattery; the only benefit of which is
, that tor ;) and maintained that the arts were the objects of admira. by hearing what we are not, we may be instructed in what ** tion and delight to the sons of the forest, as well as to the ought to be.”
same sense appears to be possessed, to an almost equal SCIENTIÆ MISCELLANEA.
extent, by the sensitive plant (Mimosa sensitiva.) If BY A. D. G.
you touch the oyster, it gives evidence of the possession of feeling, by closing its shell. Touch the sensitive
plant, and immediately its leaves shrink, and, together No. III.
with the branches, bend down towards the earth, as DEFINITIONS IN NATURAL HISTORY.
if in this way to escape further molestation. Plato is said, on a certain occasion, 10 have defined This same difficulty meets us in attempting to draw man to be “a featherless biped.” The next day Di. a dividing line between the mineral and vegetable ogenes, having plucked a chicken, placed it upon the kingdoms. The light floculent substance which often philosopher's desk, with this label—“Plato's man.” appears upon the surface of decaying fruit (commonly This mistake arose, not from a want of acuteness on called mould,) is classed with vegetables ;-whilst the the part of the Grecian philosopher, but from the in- substance, precisely similar to it in appearance, which trinsic difficulty of his subject. One would be led to is found upon the walls of damp cellars, is certainly a believe, from the language of natural history, as well mineral (nitrate of potassa, or salt petre.) These diffas from that of common society, that there existed in culties have deterred most modern naturalists from the world of created things well defined lines of dis attempting to run the boundary line between the three tinction, separating between the different genera, kingdoms of nature. Linnæus attempted it. His disclasses, &c. But when we come to search a little more tinction was: “minerals grow; plants grow and live; closely for these lines, they are nowhere to be found. animals grow, live and think.” This distinction would Even the three great kingdoms of nature, animals, seem at first thought correct enough, yet it will not bear vegetables, and minerals, at their extremities, run examination ; in fact, it only removes the difficulty a so much into each other, that naturalists have puzzled step further off, and the inquirer may turn upon his themselves in vain to fix upon the exact boundary of instructer with the questions : "what is it to live? what each; some placing a species in one kingdom, which is it to think?" But even supposing these last menothers have placed in another. In distinguishing the tioned inquiries answered, how many thoughts have more perfect species of one kingdom from those of ever entered the-I cannot say head of an oyster, for another, this difficulty does not exist; and I would by it has none; neither can I say brain, for this is also no means be understood as saying, that we could not wanting ;-have ever entered the body of an oyster. easily point out a difference between a man and a tree. There is an absurdity in the very form of the question. or between a tree and a rock. It is in distinguishing No one, I suppose, ever attributed thought to an oyster. between the more imperfect species only, the extremi
This gradual passage into each other, which characties of the several kingdoms, that this difficulty is met terizes the three great kingdoms of nature, is observawith.
ble also in their subdivisions. The leather-winged bat It would seem, at first thought, to be an easy matter is a connecting link between beasts and birds ; lizzards to distinguish an animal from a vegetable. But let us between beasts and reptiles; reptiles themselves, beexamine this matter a little more minutely. Wherein tween beasts and fishes. So in the vegetable kingdom, does this difference consist? What characteristic fea. ferns and mosses, whose seeds are evident, serve as a ture is there which may serve to distinguish between connecting link between the more perfect plants and them? One of the first which suggests itself, is the the numerous class of fungi, the most imperfect of possession of a power of locomotion. Yet many testa vegetables. So also in the mineral kingdom. The cea and all zoophites, (which are universally classed numerous specimens, which assume a regular form by among animals) are found fastened to the rocks near the cleavage, serve to connect those which appear as rude sea-shore, and spend their whole lives in the self same and unshapen masses, with those which are presented place where they were born ;-whilst the sea-weed to us, possessed of the high polish and all the beautimoves about continually upon the surface of the ocean, ful regularity of form which characterize the perfect deriving nourishment from its waters.
crystal. The ability to move some of their parts by a power An observation of these facts, probably gave rise to inherent in themselves, might seem characteristic of the " progressive theory,” by which some philosophers animals. Yet there are some vegetables which possess have attempted to trace back the descent of man him. this power to a very considerable extent; whilst in some self, through an indefinite line of ancestry, to simple animals, it seems to be almost entirely wanting. A organic mud. From so humble an original, they have, good instance of the possession of this power, by a in imagination, seen him plant, is afforded in the Venus flytrap, (Dionea musi
“Rise each generation one key, pula) a plant indigenous to the Carolinas. Its leaves
To Adam, who was but a monkey." are jointed and furnished with two rows of strong At any rate, it is on such observations they have found. prickles. The upper surface of the leaf is covered ed some of their most plausible arguments in support with a sweet liquid, very tempting to flies. But no of their strange fancy. sooner does an unwary ily attempt to rob it of its treasures, than the two lobes of the leaf instantly rise
No. IV. up, the rows of prickles lock into each other and squeeze the poor captive to death.
DEVELOPMENT OF PHYSICAL SCIENCE. The possession of some one or all of the senses, There are few pages in the general history of our might seem characteristic of animals. Naturalists al-race, which more strikingly display the powers of the low to the oyster only one senge, that of feeling. This human mind, than those which are devoted to the his
tory of its achievements in the department of physical | under the earth,” are full of it. In every department of science. Moral and religious truth man has received nature it is found to act a more or less important part. by special revelation ;-political knowledge, whilst Go to the botanist, and he will tell you, that in the much of it is the result of experience and observation, bursting of a seed, and in the growth of a planı, he can yet its great principles have been learned from the trace its agency: go to the natural philosopher, and he pages of inspiration ;--physical science is entirely man's will tell you, that in the lightnings of heaven, in the au
Who that has made himself acquainted with the rora which cheers the long night of polar regions, in the wide extended and accurate knowledge of some impor. directive power of the magnetic needle, (for even the tant subject, which is now in our possession, and has mystery of the earth's magnetism is at length satisfactotraced it back to its origin in some insignificant and now rily solved,) he acknowledges its power : go to the geoloalniost forgotten observation, has noticed with what gist, and he will point you to the volcano, as lighted by untiring perseverance the clue thus obtained has been its magic touch-to the metallic ores, as disposed in con followed; has observed how, at each step, nature has been tinuous veins by its agency: go to the chemist
, and he forced to yield up her choicest secrets, in answer to the will tell you, that in the course of a few years it has well directed inquiry of the philosopher ;-who is there changed entirely his whole science, proving that many that has observed all this, and has not found his concep. substances before considered simple, are in fact comtions of the powers of the human intellect greatly ex. pounds, separating their elements and presenting them alted above that which they were before? The his- for examination in a tangible form; that it has pointed tory of no particular branch of natural science presents out to him one of the simplest and most beautiful sys. this subject in a better point of view than that of elec- tems of classification; and that, so far as he can see,
it tricity. The progress of our knowledge respecting is likely yet to prove to be that which binds the ultithis agent, may be fitly compared to that of a stream mate particles of matter together,—the very cement of whose fountain head is in some wild, sequestered spot, the universe. uninhabited and uninhabitable, but which in its course, It is at once the perfection of human science, and the receiving ils tributaries on the right hand and on the glory of the human intellect, to be able to determine the left, swells at length into a mighty river, bearing upon manner in which the Creator has put this world togeits bosom the commerce of distant nations, and in a ther; and man may fearlessly appeal to it, as evidence thousand ways blessing mankind. The knowledge of of the greatness of the powers of the human mind, when electricity possessed by the ancients, appears to have those powers are properly developed. But how much been confined to one solitary fact. They knew that superior must be the power of thal eternal mind, which when amber had been rubbed with a warm cloth, it could not only determine, but contrive and execute this would attract straws, or other light bodies to itself, and wondrous plan; could not only discover the same agent having held them in contact for a few moments, would in such a vast variety of forms, but could cause it to asrepel them.
sume such forms; could fill the world, and even the When after a long period of ignorance, the attention human body, with the lightning of heaven, and yet of mankind was again turned to the study of natural keep it under such perfect control
, that for centuries science, and they began to search among the records of man lived, and acted, and thought, and yet never disa antiquity for that which had been known to the old phi- covered its existence. In intellect, as well as in staturs, losophers, this fact was all they found respecting elec- man may be said to stand tricity. The question might then have been asked, with
“ Mid-way from nothing to infinity." much apparent good reason, why notice so insignifi. When we feel that our intellectual powers are no cant a fact as this?—of what importance can it be to thing, it is good to look beneath us ; when we feel as if investigate the nature of so feeble an attraction ?-what they were every thing, it is good to look above us. light can possibly be thrown upon the laws which govern matter, by ascertaining how it is, and why it is, that amber attracts a piece of straw ? Notwithstanding the unpromising appearance of electrical science at its
MEMOIRS OF first entry into the world, it has received no inconsiderable share of the attention of philosophers; and as the DOCTOR WILLIAM CAREY, consequence, facts have been developed, surprising alike to the simpleton and the sage. Perhaps no discoveries This work was published in 1836, but it never fel have exerted a more powerful influence in directing al- under the notice of the writer till within a few days tention to this study, than that of our countryman past. It is not my purpose to review this production
, Franklin, in which he ascertained the identity of light- because a great portion of the review would necessarily ning and the electric fluid; and that of Sir Humphrey be inappropriate to a literary work. The policy of Davy, in which, by means of electricity, he discovered the East India Company-the improvement of agrithe compound nature of the alkalies. These have culture in the British possessions-and the question given a new impulse to the zeal with which this study whether the religious code of the Hindoos should has been pursued; and now, that agent which the be supplanted by an ecclesiastical establishment from savage knows only as the lightning flash, and beholds England, are subjects which have been elaborately only to tremble before it, we can trace in the perform discussed. For this reason, we have no desire to enter ance of a thousand works of mercy ;--that attraction into any speculations of the kind. Allow me further which was first made known to philosophers, in the mo- to say, that we are far from undervaluing either the tions of pieces of straw, is found to pervade all nature ; sacred character or the missionary enterprise of the in" the heavens above, the earth beneath, and the waters dividual who is the subject of these memoirs. But an