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which the sun presented. It was of a bright azure colour. The atmostphere was hazy in the upper regions and interspersed with thin white clouds, which as they flitted across the face of the sun produced a singularly beautiful effect. In half an hour the colour changed to silvery white, and the attitude of the planet was to the eye so much diminished, that many of the gazers, took it at first for some immense balloon' pondering its way' through the ærial expancs. The same was observed at Lewes and at Bath.
The Sun Dial.
You tell me "the Sun Dial answers each light When it's god sincerity's set;
And my heart would salute in the hours of it's night
Of absence from you all it met;
That a shadow of passion, when yours was
By the light of each beauty 'twould show, And as thus it then answer'd to others it may As falsely respond to you now."
Yes, my heart, like the Sun-dial, answered 'tis true,
Each beauty that beam'd in those hours Yet it was but the feeling to loveliness: due, For its true-love could only be your's:
As the Sun-dial greeting, the Sun often might, To it's god never answer's untrue,
So my heart re-illumin'd by your governing light,
Can never be false, Love! to you.
Oh! I have gaz'd at solemn hour of night,
The stormy sorrows of my troubled breast: And I have thought in every gale that blew, Some gliding spirit whispered one awayAnd oh! so weak, so shatter'd and so few
Whate'er of mortal joys might bid me stay, That, could I trust sweet mercy lives for me, Oh! I would smile on death, and languish to be free.
On the Bankruptcy of a Person of the name of HOMER.
That Homer should a bankrupt be,
If he be true, as I'am instructed,
On beds of snow the moonbeam slept,
A warin tear gush'd, the wintry air
An angel, wand'ring from her sphere,
EPITAPH ON MAJOR LONGBOW,
(On witnessing Mathews's last evening at Home.)
A pale dream came to a Lady fair,
I know the secrets of the air,
And things are lost in the glare of day,
And thou shalt know of things unknown,
At first all deadly shapes were driven
And as towards the east she turn'd
The sun aloft in the morning air, Which now with hues of sun-rise burn'd, A great black anchor rising there; And wherever the lady turn'd her eyes, It hung before her in the skies.
The sky was as blue as the summer sea, The depths were cloudless over head, The air was calm as it could be,
There was no sight or sound of dread, But that black anchor floating still Over the piny eastern hill.
The lady grew sick with a weight of fear,
And looked abroad if she might know
Of the blood in her own veins to and fro.
There was a mist in the sunless air
Which shook as it were with an earthquake's shock
But the very weeds that blossom'd there
Were moveless, and each mighty rock Stood on its basis steadfastly;
The anchor was seen no more on high.
But piled around, with summits' hid,
And columns fram'd of marble white,
With workmanship, which could not come
But still the lady heard that clang
A light that made the earth grow red;
And hark! a rush, as if the deep,
Had burst its bonds; she looked behind And saw over the western steep
A raging flood descend, and wind
These towers are nature's own, and she
And now these raging billows came
When that fair lady sate, and she
From every tower and every dome,
O'er that vast floods' suspended foam Beneath the smoke which hung its night On the stained cope of heaven's light. The plank whereon that lady sate
Was driven thro' the chasms about and about,
Between the peaks so desolate
Of the devouring mountains in and out As the thistle beard on a whirlwind sails While the flood was filling those hollow vales.
At last her plank an eddy crost,
And bore her to the city's wall,
Before a gorgeous gate which stood
Of winged shapes, whose legions range
Of his own mind did then endure
Those marble shapes then seemed to quiver
Of her dark eyes the dream did creep And she walked about as one who knew That sleep has sight, as clear and true As any waking eyes can view.
TO CORRESPONDENTS. We are exceedingly obliged to Thespis, for his early favour, but as it is our determination to refrain from any thing that tends to public irritation, we are necessarily compelled to renounce it.
Errata.-In Page 2, column 2, bottom line but one, for Gorgian Sidus, read Georgium Sidus.
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"Imitatio vitæ, speculum consuetudinis, imago veritatis."-CICERO.
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TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 6.
[No. 2. Vol. I.
Simul et jucunda et idonea dicere vitæ.
IF there be one blessing more than another which an Englishman enjoys above his fellow-creatures of other countries, it surely is that which proceeds from the free access he has to the effusions of a well-regulated press. This liberty may be said to be his pride,; and from it he reaps many advantages to which thousands are strangers. The benefits derived therefrom are many; and it has been the effort of our worthiest legislators to protect it against degeneration and destruction. Time has nearly perfected it; though many errors have crept into the practice thereof. Instead of being always used as the means whereby wisdom is to be diffused, and learning to be expanded; it has too frequently, to the disgrace of many be it spoken, been adverted to for the purpose of disseminating opinions which are diametrically opposite to those of virtue, and for dealing forth principles, which, if once they gain root in the minds of our people, will inevitably produce, fruits to their utter debasement.
It is a privilege attached to the meanest creature of our soil, to be enabled to partake alike with his betters in the various benefits which accrue from this freedom of the press. At one period the works of the learned were confined to manuscripts; and from the immense trouble attendant on copying them, very few individuals could become sharers in the erudite lucubrations of the philosopher. What now is at the service of every one, whose education has been cultivated, was then only to be attained by persons whom fortune aided in their procurement of such rare articles of learning. While it has been the
attention of men to advance the art of printing, it has been the object of persons professing it, to publish such things as are generally perused at a small price. By doing this, all ranks, by parting with a portion of their income, are enabled to attain in lieu thereof, some publication replete with good and sound knowledge. This full distribution of information furthers the education of the lower class. None can say, now a-days, that he has it not in his power to improve or to advance himself in those acquirements, which are so essential to happiness, to respectability, and to our temporal and eternal welfare. How many books and small tracts are published daily; and from the sale of which is scarcely realized sufficient to defray the expences incurred in their going through the process of typography, &c. Yet, these books and traets, small and insignificant as they appear when contrasted with unwieldy folios, &c. repay their authors sufficiently, in the satisfaction they derive from the assurance that they effect much good amongst those for whom they were chiefly composed. Labour and time are thus expended by many excellent individuals for the sole benefit of those whom indigence preys upon, and prevents from reaping the many blessings which are created alike for all.
God has bestowed upon man a variety of faculties which raise him above the character of a brute. He has given to him powers whereby to reflect and to judge of good and bad. He has planted within his breast a heart to throb with joy, or to tremble with pain. The organization of his whole system is wonderful; and, whether we look to its intel
lectual or physical departments, we shall be able to mark the superiority over beasts. He is not a being of such apathy as to expend his days in the enjoyment of his sensual passions, but exerts his powers to attain that information which casts a lustre over his existence, and gives to him a knowledge little inferior to that possessed by angels. He lives, and seeks to know wherefore he lives; he aspires to heaven in his thoughts, and pursues the Almighty to his retreat. There is an innate feeling given to him which prompts him to acknowledge a Deity, and there is a revelation to confirm it: he obeys the summons, and prostrates himself before God. He is taught that he is not the creature of to-day alone, and must quickly perish for ever; but he feels within him a soul that will still survive, when the body has decayed. The certainty of this is the great incitement to his pursuit after knowledge. He is perplexed and confounded by theories that would deny religion, but he aims to satisfy himself by an examination of divine and other writings. He reads he thinks-and determines; and it is well for those who are enabled so to do. There surely is an imperious necessity attached to each man, that he furthers this conduct in others; that he puts them in the method of so doing; and that he gives to them, if possible, the means whereby to fulfil it. There are some minds, however, which are less capable than others to undertake this scrutiny; and to them should be afforded for perusal, such books only as are plain in their sentiments, and devoid of that polemic feeling which only serves to raise false ideas, or to yield a total disgust to the inquirer. Our various faculties must be roused from their dormancy; they must have direction, or they never can produce the effect for which nature created them. They must have proper incitements, and be conducted with a kind hand to that fount where the mind can alone be fed. Surely it was intended that all should have knowledge, or why were our senses and thoughts created within us? Eternity is before us, and we should know how to prepare for it. In reading the Bible, and other works, we are alone taught the mysteries of God. Oh! why then should any one be debarred the perusal of them.
27 MAR 1969
But man has not only to learn the path that conducts to heaven; but he has also to be taught how to live as becometh him, while forming a member of society. This is a great object, and there are many ways adverted to, in order to produce it. Education certainly has a great effect upon all; and, if it does not entirely eradicate those evil principles which many are in possession of, yet it gives them, in most cases, a deeper sense of their sins when they commit them, than those whom ignorance and barbarism enslave. They feel a shame ising in their breasts at having done wrong; and this shame often prevents the occurrence of wickedness. A well-educated person is more alive to his disgrace than one of an opposite class. Hence, then, the necessity of promulgating knowledge: though, I dare say, many will be adverse to this doctrine, on the ground that this dissemination of knowledge has proved hurtful to servants, and others of a low sphere, in making them proud and disobedient; but, I would say, this arises from an abuse of the thing, and not from any radical defect attached to it. England is making rapid strides in its information and learning. Authors swarm on all sides; and the press hourly teems forth their ebullitions. That these effusions are generally productive of good, I think, cannot be doubted; and, although much lasciviousness has been permitted to be published, yet, there is a preponderance of benefit on the other hand, which far outweighs the evil.
Printing, in this country, is intimately connected with the progress of religion and of knowledge of every sort. What would avail the reflections of a philosopher, or the discovery of an artist, if these could not be made known. to others that the good arising therefrom might be as universally beneficial as possible? It is, however, to our welfare, that we possess in its full virtues a means by which we can easily keep the fruits of sound wisdom. What a stupendous character printing holds in our Isle! Newspapers are constantly afloat in myriads, and from their columns what information is to be derived! The studies of the arts, sciences, history, theology, natural and moral philosophy, &c. &c. are daily promulgated by works which are printed in profusion. These display an immense fund for
reflection, and are like so many mirrors in which we see each circumstance delineated
Instruction, manners, mysteries, and trades, Degrees, observances, customs, and laws.
To enumerate half the various sorts of books, pamphlets, &c. &c. that are issued from the press daily, would be a labour. There is one species, however, which forms a very considerable character amongst the rest-periodical publications. It is surprising in what quantities these are disposed of; and it is equally astonishing with what avidity they are sought and perused. There are very few who cannot boast of being a subscriber to some one of them: almost all watch with interest the beginning of each month for the coming of his favourite magazine, or review. These teem abroad in all shapes and of all descriptions. Some treat of divinity --some are full of satire- others of wit -some of which are confined to subjects of chemistry-and others philosophical studies; and of these there are many, which are reputable for their excellencies: while, on the other hand, there is sadly too great a profusion that are worthless and despicable. These periodical works certainly have great merits unless it were so, they would never have attained the popularity they possess. There is a pleasing variety in their columns, which serve to lessen the weight of more serious reading. Man is fond of novelty, and will ever cling to it when he can. It matters not in what cases or upon what subjects he may be engaged-whether they be of a grave and morose description, or whether they are light and facetious-he is quickly satisfied; and turns with rapture to objects that are novel. His mind must have relief occasionally, or he would early tire of those weightier studies which are so essential to all. Where then is this novelty to be found? Surely not in a tome of solemn and perplexing disquisition-in a metaphysical enquiry-or in solving a problem of mysterious religion: No. These deeper works may be of more extensive consequence eventually; and, in the perusal of them, we may probably derive still greater and more weightier matter, but our powers of thought become early wearied with their monotony, and quit them, perplexed by their arguments, and confounded by their tenets. We
cannot always bear to be absorbed in deep reflection, or to be obliged to ponder with excessive toil over the pages of an author, merely to satisfy a doubt we may entertain on some abstruse dogma. After a little while, we may perhaps give up the task, half crazed by our thoughts, and ready to discard for ever the volume that seems to have nothing for its object but to conduct us into inextricable disputations. When this is the case, a man seeks with avidity to peruse a work that interests, without being profuse; and throws off the restraint of solemn enquiry, to laugh at joke, and be merry over a tale. Periodical works, such as are generally spread in our country, are a charming literary recreation. The gravest philosopher may peruse the subjects of which they are composed, and not suffer by his mind being debased with their levity: indeed, they convey much instruction, though in a seemingly frivolous manner. Whether it be in essaysin the petty inquiries instituted by correspondents in the harmless wit strewed throughout-there is most frequently something good to be attained. Men will elicit their opinions in a small magazine, in the character of a letter; when it would be foolish, and probably impossible, to occupy a volume for the purpose. And not only one man's thoughts are thus introduced to the consideration of the world, but the opinions of a many are thus wafted abroad at a small price, and in a convenient form.
In thus eulogizing on such publications as magazines and other brochures, I would not have it supposed, that I consider these to be the main ornaments of our press; or, that I would have a work of deep reasoning and of methodical disquisition, entirely discarded for the purpose of making way for them. I am aware that there are subjects which require a laboured and extensive investigation, ere the fundamental doctrines, intended to be inculcated, can be delivered explicitly; and I am aware that without this investigation is properly and fully established, we can never arrive at the wisdom we desire. But periodical publications are brief, and not tedious, with their length; and yet they can display a good moral lesson, and unfold a valuable religious precept. Their form is portable, and