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particular event or scene described, it is not snrprising that they have been groundless and unsatisfactory. Mr. Bigland observes, “ Amidst the vast accumulation of opposite opinions and vague observations made by historians and physiologists, it is often extremely difficult to place the connection between causes and effects in a luminous point of view. It has been generally assumed that the human body is invigorated by cold, but relaxed and enervated by heat, and, consequently, that a northern climate is the most favourable to courage and strength, as well as to health and longevity. But the writers who have treated this subject, advance such a farrago of unfounded assertions, isolated or unauthenticated facts, and contradictory arguments, as can have no other tendency than to perplex and puzzle the inquirer. Mr. Orme, in speaking of Hindoostan, says,
“ The courage of the people depends on the climate. In the northern parts, firmer fibres produce a proportionable degree of resolution : in the southern, all is sensibility, and fear must predominate in such as are infinitely susceptible of the minutest impressions.” But he invalidates this argument by what he afterwards adds. He says, that “Persons of high rank and distinction are seldom wanting in an intrepidity as little sensible of the apprehension of danger, as the pusillanimity of the lower and meaner people is incapable of resisting such impulses.” From this contrast between those who rule, and those who obey, it appears that some other cause besides the influence of climate, which operates on all, must occasion the difference. The only physical causes that can be assigned, must be the nature of their food, which, amongst the lower classes, is not sufficient to give firmness and strength to the body, and the distinction of casts by which the Hindoos are divided into separate tribes, whose peculiar dispositions and characters are perpetuated from generation to generation. But the principal cause of so marked a difference is undoubtedly the state of depression and degradation in which the lower orders are held, and which deprives them of all magnanimity and courage by constantly impressing on their minds a sense of their inferiority.”
Two of the longest chapters in the work, as the important nature of the subjects deserves, are devoted to the consideration of government and religion. In these the author traces the effects of some of the most celebrated religious and political systems of ancient and modern times. The observations which follow are from the chapter on religion.
« The Mahomedan system, while in its full vigour, afforded a remarkable instance of the effects which the sincere belief of one or two dogmas of faith may produce. The great motive by which the vivid fancy and intrepid spirit of the Arabians were stimulated to enterprise when they had embraced the Islam, was the promise of eternal life, and inexhaustible pleasures to those who should fall in the wars against infidels. The force of enthusiasm thus roused, was still further stimulated, and completely confirmed by the doctrine of absolute predestination, involving and determining the most minute particulars in the life and death of every individual. The followers of the prophet were, therefore, encouraged to fight without fear for the propagation of the faith, since they were taught that, besides the merit of this service and its eternal reward, no caution could avert their inevitable destiny, nor prolong for a moment their lives.
“ If it be asked why these doctrines did not continue to excite the same dauntless conrage and the same ardent spirit of enterprise in after times, as in the first ages of the caliphate, and why they have no :v almost wholly lost their efficacy, the answer is easy, as the reason is obvious. Enthusiasm, however ardent it may be, or by whatever means it may be excited, seldom burns long with a steady and undiminished flame. Of this, history furnishes innumerable instances. Every new religion is adopted with a fervid zeal by its first votaries: it is then a matter of conviction: it is uppermost in their
thoughts, it occupies the principal place in their minds, and forcibly commands their attention. In process of time, being transmitted to successive generations, it becomes a thing of custom and course. It is no longer embraced with the same ardour, nor professed with the same zeal : its impressions upon the mind grow more feeble: its precepts bave less influence on practice; and amidst the novelty rising events and changing circumstances incessantly attracting human attention, the fervour which it at first inspired is gradually abated. It would, perhaps, be difficult to find among modern christians that indefatigable zeal, that dauntless perseverance, and that inflexible constancy under the severest trials, by which they were distinguished in the apostolic age, and in the second and third centuries."
Mr. Bigland closes his elaborate work by a succinct comparison of the ancients and moderns in regard to their intellectual and social state, a subject which at different periods has given rise to a good deal of keen controversy. If men are not yet agreed on this point, we think time will eventually bring them to a union of sentiment. Every year in fact alters the state of the argument, and surely the favourite prejudices of learned men cannot much longer resist the rapid improvements of modern science, and the slower ones of modern policy. From this comparison, we may lay before our readers what we hope will prove an interesting extract.
“ When we cast back our eyes on the flourishing ages of Greece and Rome, we, indeed, behold prodigies of intellect that form the pre-eminent glory of the human species. But these poets, philosophers, and orators, whom we so greatly admire, and who stand as Pharos in the sea of literature, were few in number amidst a vast population composed of citizens and slaves, almost equally ignorant and superstitious. They were as lamps hung out to illumine an immense gloom ; and to these distinguished individu. als belong all the applause that we are accustomed to bestow on Greek and Roman intellect; for certainly no one will imagine that the common people of Athens or Rome, during the periods of their greatest glory, could bear any comparison with the same class now existing in Great-Britain, Germany, France, or Italy, or, indeed, in any European country where books are numerous and cheap, and the means of acquiring knowledge are infinitely multiplied. Reading was not very common in Rome, and it was still less practised at Athens : even newspapers, if they existed in the former city, must, from their price, have been inaccessible to the far greater part of the people; and we have not the least intimation of arfy such publications in the latter. The great majority of the inhabitants of these two celebrated cities had no other means of acquiring infor. mation than by listening to the harangues of their orators in the forum. From the great expense of obtaining instruction, indeed, we may, with certainty, conclude, that the number of those who could read was comparatively small, and that, notwithstanding the talents displayed by a few literati, the multitude was involved in the most profound ignorance.
“ Illumination of intellect collects its materials from the phenomena of the physical world, and from the history of man ; but in both these departments of knowledge, the ancients wanted that experience which has so greatly enlightened the moderns. 'The opinion, sàys Lord Bacon, which men form respecting antiquity, is vague, and incongruous with the meaning of the word. For the long duration and old age of the world, circumstances which belong to our times and not to its younger state as it existed in the days of the ancients, ought to be regarded as antiquity. That age, intainments, had proceeded but little beyond the boundaries of intellectual infancy. In all their literary productions we cannot but remark the contracted circles of their ideas, when compared with the extensive range of thought developed by modern writers.”
with respect to us, be con idered as ncient; but with res to the world itself, it was new.' The ancients, notwithstanding our admiration of their boasted at.
The account which we have now given of Mr. Bigland's work, will be sufficient to awaken the curiosity of all who are interested in such speculations. To the young student it is a volume which will, no doubt, prove particularly useful, in, teaching him to compare and to reflect, and initiating him into what has been called the “ Philosophy of History,” without which a knowledge of facts and dates will be little else than useless lumber in the memory.
LITERARY AND SCIENTIFIC INTELLIGENCE.
to-do-40-184.108.40.206**0.40.-674040-40, Voyage of Discovery.- Four transports
warm clothing. As the vessel will take of about 300 tons each, are ordered to be
no other kind of ballast but what will doubled, (to secure them from the ice,) and serve as fuel (coals, wood, &c.), they will to be filled at Woolwich for the purpose
have a supply of this necessary equal to of making a voyage of discovery and in- five years consumption; the provisions vestigation to the northward of America, will be stowed amongst it. The ships will Europe, and Asia. The recent discoveries be ready to proceed early in March next. made by Lieut. Kotzebue, of the Russian Sea- Serpent.- Much interest has been navy, and the reports made this season by lately excited by the reported appearance our own Greenlandmen, (see vol.i. p. 217) of an enormous Sea-Snake, between Manhave given a renewed feeling of interestchester and Cape Ann, in Massachusetts to the subject of a north-west passage. Bay. The Linnæan Society having re
Captain David Buchan, of the Pike, and quested several gentlemen to obtain facts Captaiu John Ross, of the Driver, are ap- respecting this prodigy on oath, one of pointed to conduct the enterprize. These the persons, Mr. Story, gave a deposition officers will have commands of ships, with that he and his family saw the snake (as it each a brig, commanded by a Lientenant, is usnally called at Cape Ann) soon after under them. Captain Ross's division will sun-rise; that he lay stretched at his whole take the course through Davis's straits; length on the surface of the water, then whilst Capt. Buchan, with his two vessels, very smooth, between a ledge of rocks near will penetrate as far to the North Pole as the eastern point, called Black Bess, and possible. The Dorothea (the late Congo, Ten Pound Island; and continued doremployed in exploring Africa) is the ship mant during the space of half an hour, Captain Buchan is appointed to command. and that he appeared as if reposing; he The doubling of the ships for the service judged the length of the part of his body is going on at Merchant's yard, under the visible (his head and tail being both under inspection of King's oflicers from the water) to be at least 50 feet, and, genedock-yards. Their bottom plank,of about rally, that bis body was round, and about two and a half inches thick, has been the size of the body of a man. Many buntaken off, and is replaced by plank of dreds of the citizens of Cape Ann have about six inches thick, which will be seen this novelty; and the interesting fact sheathed with board, and then coppered. of its being of the snake kind, is attested Their equipment, in every department, by the opinion of a great majority of the will be upon the most liberal scale ; no- spectators. Captain Beach jun. has seen thing will be withheld that may be sug
this animal from 12 to 20 times, and has gested as likely to contribute either to taken an accurate drawing of him for exthe success of the enterprize, or to the hibition. He describes him as being, in comforts of those employed. The crews
his most contracted state, about 70 feet are to be seamen who have been accus- in length, and of the size of a flour-barrel. tomed to the Greenland trade, who are to
Two thousand dollars have been offered receive double wages, and a gratuitous for his skin. ample supply of every necessary article of The latest account is in a letter from
Newhaven, (America,) dated Nov. 13, on the mineralogy of the Hebrides; and
Bishop Ulphilas, the loss of which has he approached them.
been hitherto a subject of regret. It fills In consequence of the reward offered,
two voluminous manuscripts, and is comany attempts have been made to catch
vered by Latin writing of a later period. this strange animal, but none have suc
We know from the unanimous testimony ceeded ; and in one instance it is said he of the ancient historians that Ulphilas (who torned upon his pursuers and frightened
was called the Moses of his time) transthem back to the shore.
lated the whole Bible, except perhaps the Antiquities. There has been excavated two books of Kings. The whole of this in Pompeii a very curious monument, work was lost, till at length, in 1665, which has been carried to the Bourbon the Codex argenteus of Upsal, containing a Museum. It contains, with various inscrip- considerable part of the four Evangelists, tions, the scale of the different measures was published by Francis Junius.— The of weight and capacity iu use among the learned Francis Knittel, upon examining Romans, viz. the modius, the semmdius, a Codex palimpsestus, in the library of the amphora, the congius, the hemina, the Wolfenbüttle, found upon eight of the libra, and the quarternus.
pages several verses of the translation of The discovery of three votive inscrip- the Epistle to the Romans, by Ulphilas. tions in bonour of the goddess Concord, in
These fragments he published in 1762. the temple situated between that of Jupiter The MSS. now discovered by M. Mai are Tonans and the Mamertine prison at Rome, much more extensive, and appear to have bas removed all doubts respecting the des“ been written between the 5th and 6th centination of that religious edifice.
tury. What is wanting of the Epistles in
one of the MSS. is contained in the other; A precious monument has been dug up
eight of the Epistles are entire in both, so at Monte-Canino, near Genzano.
as to afford the advantage of comparison. presents a young Esculapius with all his attributes. This statue is perfectly pre
The characters are large and handsome. served, and is of the finest proportions. It
The titles of the Epistles are at the head of
the MSS. and there are marginal references is attributed, on the authority of Pausa. nias, to the celebrated Greek sculptors, M. Mai designs to publish an extensive
in the same language. Of this discovery Calamides and Scopas.
specimen in a preliminary dissertation. A Geology.--- The geological structure of gentleman of Milan, equally distinguishmany districts of Scotlaad has beeu exa- ed by erudition and liberality, has had a mined and explained by the members of complete fount of Ulphilanian types, of the Wernerian and Geological Societies. diiferent sizes, cast by an able founder, Their interesting descriptions appear to both for the text and notes. Besides the bare excited the attention of foreign mi- two MSS. M. Mai has collected twenty neralogists in a very particular manner, more pages in the Mæso-Gothic language, and several of them have traversed Scot- extracted from several other Codices paland, with the view of studying its highly limpsesti, in the same library. In these curious structure. Of these, that eminent pages are found those parts of the Gospels naturalist Baron Von Buch is, we upder- by Ulphilas, which are wanting in the stand, engaged on a work illustrative of mutilated edition of the Codex argenteus, the geognosy of Scotland.-- Professor Nec- together with great part of the homilies ker of Geneva, (a pupil of Professor Jame- or commentaries, and what is still more son’s,) is now publishing in Geneva a work interesting, fragments of the books of Es
dras and Nehemiah- a discovery of the France.-The Society for the Encoumore importance, as not the smallest por- ragement of the Arts at Paris has proposed tion of Ulphilas's version of tbe Old Testa- the following prizes for the year 1818 :ment was bitherto known to exist. To ac- “ 1500 france for a machine for making company this considerable part of the la- pack-thread; 1000 francs for a machine bours of the Gothic prelate, M. Mai is pre- for cutting'the fur from the skins used in hat paring a new Meso-Gothic Lexicon, making ; 6000 francs for the manufacture of which will prodigiously increase the num- steel-wire for needles; 3000 francs for maber of words of that language, and prove nufacturing articles of cast-iron; 2000 a most valuable present to the philologists francs for a method of salting meat; 2000 of all those nations whose language are francs for the manufacture of isinglas ; of German origin.
2000 francs for manufacturing enamelled Recent accounts from Malta state, that metal vases; 1500 francs for the cultivathe Weymouth_store-ship had sailed from tion of the plants which supply pot-ash ; that island for Tripoli, to receive on board 1000 francs for making pipes without the curiosities destined for the Prince Re- seams; 600 francs for the discovery of gent by the Bey. They are represented stones for lithography; and 1200 francs as highly valuable and curious, consisting for their artificial composition. of massy columns of porphyry, statuary, The Society has deferred, until 1819, and other fragments of ancient art. This the distribution of the following es : collection has been made under the direc- 1200 francs for the manufacture of artifition of Capt. Smith, R. N., who has been cial precious stones ; 3000 francs for the some time employed in surveying that part discovery of a certain process for drying of the Africau coast, and is frequently meat; and 1000 francs for the cultivation with the Bey.
of oleaginous plants; the prize for the The Duke of Devonshire, when in Rus- preservation of woollen cloth, which, in sia, paid great attention to the mineral consideration of its importance, has been productions of that empire, and became raised to the sum of 3000 francs; and that the purchaser of select specimens that the of 1000 francs for the construction of a mill oldest collector might covet ; amongst for skinning dried vegetables, such as peas, which are groupes of topazes, and one de- beans, &c. will not be awarded till 1820. tached, near four inches, liu diameter ; The society has besides proposed nine aqua marinas of great rarity, &c. On others, viz.-1st, One of 2000 francs, to tbe road his Grace frequently got out of be given in 1819, to the person who sball his carriage to pick up curious rock spe- raise, by the most certain and economical cimens, and to observe the geology of the processes, and with the least possible loss, country. This is a good and meritorious the greatest number of white Chinese silktrait in the character of a young noble- worms. 2d, One of 600 francs, in 1818, man, who possesses such immense mineral for the invention of an extremely econotreasures in Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Ire- mical, agreeable, and wholesome fermented land, &c.
drink, which may be prepared by the Africa.--A letter from Sierra Leone poorest cultivators, and fit for the use of mentions the return to that place of the persons employed in out-door labour. 3d, British scientific expedition for exploring One of 1200 francs, in 1818, for the mathe interior of Africa. They were com- nufacture of an unalterable green colour, pletely unsuccessful, having advanced of fine quality, and preferable to Scheele's only about 150 miles into the interior, green. 4th, One of 500 francs, in 1818, from Rio Nunez. Their progress was for the discovery of the best method of there stopped by a chief of the country, grinding oil and water-colours, to the deand after unavailing endeavours, for the gree of tenuity required by artists. 5th, space of four months, to obtain liberty to One of 2000 francs, in 1819, for the mdproceed, they abandoned the enterprize nufacture of animal charcoal prepared and returned. Nearly all the animals from other substances than bone, and withdied. Several officers died, and, what is ont the employment of pot-ash ; and which remarkable, but one private, besides one may be as good and cheap as charcoal predrowned, of about 200. Captain Camp- pared from bones. 6th, One of 1200 francs, bell died two days after their return to in 1819, for the manufacture of a new Rio Nunez, and was buried, with another kind of economical floor-cloth, composed officer, in the same spot where Major Ped- of strong paper covered with varnish. 7th, die and one of his officers were buried on One of 2000 francs, in 1819, for the applitheir advance.
cation of the steam-engine to printing