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VOL. 2.]

Adventures of a Pebble; by an Anti-Geologist.

261

"HE

From La Belle Assemblee, August 1817.

GEOLOGY.

ADVENTURES OF A PEBBLE; BY AN ANTI-GEOLOGIST.

Imitated from the French.

TEARKEN unto me, ye disciples of molicules composed a quantity of of Geology," said a Pebble to a imperceptible little drops, these soon belearned sage, as he kicked him before him came large drops, and falling on the with his foot, crying, “O Pebble, Peb- crystalline parts,covered the globe to the ble, canst thou tell whence thou art ?" thickness of several thousand feet above "O, learned philosopher!" continued the highest mountains, and crowned the Pebble to the astonished scholar, "I them with new watery crystallizations. am a fragment from one of the mountains "I have just told you how water was of Africa; millions of ages before this first produced, but now I must make it terrestrial globe was covered with ver- appear how those waters were dispersed dure, the mountain to which I belonged, that covered the islands and the contias well as all this planet, were reduced nents; but on this subject I declare I am into aërial matter, and we came I know as ignorant as yourself. I have often not whence. After having a long time heard some learned people say, as they rolled amidst the firmament, under the are walking along, that those superaform of vapours, our particles coagulated, bundant waters were imbibed by other the affinities performed their functions, planets; you do not believe in that sysand we became crystallized; for it is fit tem, and you are right; for if those that thou shouldst be informed that every waters had been carried off as they say, thing in nature is crystallized; crystalli- our poor moon, who is so dry in herself, zation has produced every thing; plains, would not get a drop. They must, valleys, mountains, vegetation, animals; therefore, have taken some other road. and thou, most learned scholar, art only Other learned people pretend that our a grain of crystalline salt. globe, becoming gelid fell in, in some

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Our crystallization was neither watery parts, and that the waters passed through nor igneous, it was aërial. Our primary the breaches. You have admired these molicules was formed of atoms, our evasions, but you are terrified if you find atoms of secondary molicules. The an ocean under your feet, and you take specific weight of divers parts not being the most prudent part when you say, equal, a precipitation took place towards These waters come to me; but when our centre, in consequence of the laws of they go away I know not where they go. attraction and gravity; for Newton says and it concerns me not: let us not inthe difference is not worth a pin's point. vestigate farther.' "I know that the formation of moun- "But I was born in Africa; I find tains has puzzled the whole of your frater- myself now at Suréne, and how came 1 nity: a pack of weak-headed fellows there? I must tell you the whole of my have pretended that one half of them travels. Perhaps, on my bare word, are volcanos, and that they have all you will not believe me. I will speak craters on their summits. Wretched then only from the testimony of the kind of theory! It was crystallization learned. When the tide goes out, to that formed all these mountains, next depart I cannot indeed tell you where, it moss, then grass, then thistles, polypuses, causes a great commotion on this teroysters, and last geology. The moun- restrial globe. It carried off all the

tain then to which I belonged, formed, strata of my mountain, and quite overwith myself, but a small part of this throwing it, precipitated it to the bottom crystallized globe: and we were very ofthe Atlantic Ocean. Granites, porphyry, dry, for water had, as yet, formed no parget stones, all were overthrown, conpart of our hemisphere. But with time founded, and rolled over by the waves of that element was soon formed; millions the sea. I was at that time a respectable

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Adventures of a Pebble; by an Anti-Geologist.

[VOL. 2. fragment, my form was angular and irre- years, and at length entirely retired a gular, and I was about fifty pounds in few hundred centuries after: it returned weight. But, according to the proverb, a second time, and learned people assert, a rolling stone gathers no moss, continual friction wore me away, and I am now no bigger than a pigeon's egg: and pray, what traveller is there who would not have become thin during so long a voyage?

that it probably will return a third time. Be that as it may, I have not travelled any more; I remained hid in a corner, and the waves passed over my head without carrying me away with them: and here I shall probably remain for ages to come, if you do not take me away to place me in your cabinet of curiosities, or if the glass manufacturers do not break me up to make a smelling bottle of me.

"When I fell into the sea I did hope I should have had some little time given me to rest myself, and to recover my fall; but I was soon driven by a south easterly current and carried to Brazil. The current then taking a new direction "If such a misfortune should not befal towards the north, I ranged along the me, what will become of me? What will coast of Brazil and Guianne; I was a become of this globe in a million of cenlittle put out of my way by the mouths turies to come? Thou who art bold of the rivers Amazon and Oronooko. I enough to outstrip the works of creation, passed the island of Trinidad, and glided thou durst not take one step into the in with a gentle breeze to the Antilla abyss of futurity. Thou pretendest to Islands. I then advanced towards the know exactly how the universe is formed, west, doubled Yucatan, was whirled as to terrestrial principles, but thou art about in the Gulf of Mexico, saluted as utterly ignorant of what will happen toI crossed the great Mississippi, passed morrow! Hearken then, and beattentive, along the southern coast of Cuba, and I speak after the manner of the learned, when I had doubled the cape of the two and the predictions of a stone are as Floridas, I traced back my road to the likely to be accomplished as those of a north. I viewed all those countries that geologist. in three thousand years after would bear the name of Georgia and the two Carolinas. I carefully avoided the great bay of Chesapeak, in which I should have been ingulphed to all eternity, but I gained the Island of New York, and rolled rapidly towards the mouth of St. Lawrence, from which I was distant not much more than a hundred leagues, when Cape Cod again threw me into the main ocean.

"Oysters and muscles make use of water in forming their shells; this water can never again become a liquid, therefore there is so much lost on the part of the ocean. One day or other there will be so many oysters, star-fish, corals, limpits, and other shell fish, that there will be scarce a drop of water left in the basons of the sea. The globe will then be dry and take fire: this fire will cause a general analyzation of all substance; bodies will be turned into aërial fluid, we shall become nebulous nitre, we shall be crystallized anew, to burn and dissolve again through millions of ages; and the learned, astonished at the continual occupation of nature, occupied, it is true, like Penelope, in doing and undoing, will cry out, at usual, What is the use of all this?""

"You may easily guess that I was driven along that terrible current called the Gulf stream; I continued to measure the fathomless depths of ocean in the direction of north east. I arrived very much fatigued and greatly diminished at Cape Lizard, which made me deviate to the south east; but an extraordinary tide drove me an hundred leagues in the twinkling of an eye, and I was cast So spoke the Pebble, and the reader against a coast which at a future day was may be ill natured enough to say it spake to produce the excellent wine of Suréne. foolishly: in the mean time, I can assure "This place was not then a shore. them that such is very frequently the For several thousand years the sea absurd manner of arguing of many of covered France and all Europe; but it our geologists.

only sojourned for several other thousand

S.G.

voi. 2.]

Horticulture.-Cultivation of Rhubarb.

SUBSTITUTE FOR FRUIT IN PIES, PUDDINGS, &c.

SIR,

THE

From the Monthly Magazine.

203

less a quantity than 5lbs. for each gaHE article of rhubarb (the rheum thering, repeated three times per week, palmatum), has been so lately in- and continued for a period of five months, troduced to our horticultural list, that its making a total weight of 300lbs. This merits, as an important addition to the amount, divided by eighteen, the nunluxuries of the table, have not yet been ber of square yards, yields the extraorduly appreciated. First comes igno- dinary produce of 16lbs. to the yard, or rance, then prejudice, then experience, thirty-four tons and a half per acre; and and then conviction; and an article, an is perhaps not to be equalled by any aropinion, or a practice, which shall attain ticle whatever, either in our fields or its full tide of popularity within fifty gardens-with the exception of the years from its first recommendation, has Swedish turnip, and the mangel wurzel. more than its proportionate share of good- Cobbett says he had 117 tons of these Juck. Parmentier spent the greatest turnips on 34 acres (bulbs only) which is part of a long and active life in proving 15lbs, persquare yard; and of the other the inestimable value of the potato; and he had fifty tons per acre, which is 23lbs. yet, after all, our friend Cobbett has per yard. declared it to be, "a worse than useless article;" and he was an extensive and experimental farmer. Happily for our country, and for the world, it is now established by universal consent and highly-rated approbation!

The rhubarb is sold in our market in lots, or small bundles, at about threepence per lb. which, by my estimate, is after the rate in value of four shillings per yard, or nearly 1,000l. per acre. Supply creates demand, and this, in its In the spring of 1815 I purchased turn, ensures supply; the consumption twelve roots of rhubarb, and planted them might thus soon become immense: for in my garden, so as to occupy about the the London market alone it would be alspace of eighteen square yards; what most incredible. I am aware of the diftheir age was at that time I do not know. ference between garden and field proThe soil is very light and dry, and the duce; but I also know that there are exsituation elevated and cold, or at least it tensive districts within reach of our maris fully exposed to the northern winds. ket (the vale of Evesham for instance), The depth was made by digging what whence the supply is not only a month we call two spades graft, and a reasona- earlier than from our gardens, but is likeble quantity of stable manure was put to wise more abundant, perhaps by one each root; since which they have been third, than any trouble and expence can left to themselves-except that they have ensure from our comparatively barren been well watered during the spring soil. It will be understood, that the months; and, more or less later in the quantity mentioned, refers entirely to the season, with the soap-suds produced from stem or eatable part of the plant, leaving our washing-tubs, and the emptying of the fine luxuriant leaves, three feet in the pots-de-nuit. The first season their diameter, to meet other purposes: I am produce was considerable, the second no agriculturist, but have been informed abundant, and the present so extraor- that pigs and cattle will feast upon them; dinary as to induce the wish to make it and I see no reason to doubt the asserpublicly known through the medium of tion, nor to suppose that the leaves your widely circulating miscellany. would not be as salutary as they are abundant, weighing as they do upon an average more than the stalks. Neither does my experience inform me what advantage can be made of the roots, except that I believe they possess every property of the foreign article, which our itinerant

Not having intended to make any calculation of their produce, I suffered the season nearly to pass before I began any close observation; but think myself warranted in now saying, that, by the end of the present month, I shall have had no

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Memoirs of Eminent Persons-Werner, the Geologist.

Turkish merchants sell us at half a crown must be pernicious.

[VOL. 2

The stems that

In one instance I suffered the seed-stalk to grow to the height of four feet, but the plant seemed to be much injured by cutting it then; it has since so far recovered itself as to shoot vigorously, but in numberless small stems, and it appears to me to operate as compelling the plant to supply two crops in one season, which must necessarily exhaust it.

an ounce. It may be that our produce have germinated, I have cut down early, is not quite so powerful.in its medical and this part is as eatable as the other. qualities, but a little addition to the quantity would make it equally useful. I intend next spring to have the roots examined, and expect to find that by separating them I shall gain an addition of fresh plants, improve the old beds, and find a considerable supply for the druggist's shop. My stalks run generally from four to eight ounces, a considerable portion of them not less than I have been told that in the west of twelve; and my ambition has this morn- England the article is scarcely known, ing been gratified by one reaching the and it may be the case in other extensive extraordinary weight of a full pound; quarters: a few words of farther inforand the same plant has five or six re- mation may, therefore, not be amiss for maining stems of nearly equal mag- such as are totally unacquainted with the nitude. subject. For pies and puddings it is

I have three sorts-the first with hardly to be distinguished in the taste sharp-pointed leaves and green stems, from green gooseberries; and I have and this is the most fruitful; the second never known a case of its being disliked round-ended leaves, the stems slightly either by young persons or old. It may tinged with red; and the third, what be preserved as gooseberries during the passes here by the name of the Turkey winter, and thus produce an excellent sort, with scolloped leaves, pretty simi- conserve for children, to be eaten with lar to Apollyon's wings, in my old Pil- bread. In its medicinal properties it is grim's Progress; but in produce this slightly cathartic, just sufficient to renamounts to not more than half of the der it highly suitable for the feverish others. heats of summer; and in no instance The only precaution I have taken in have I found its free use to be at all unthe management has been, not to take comfortable. We take none of the skin too much at one time from any one from the stems, as the little toughness is root: some gardeners wrench the stems lost in the cooking, and we fancy that an from the roots, but I prefer cutting them additional sharpness in the taste is thus as close as it can be done, as I appre- communicated. J. LUCKCOCK. hend the continued violence of force Birmingham Aug. 5, 1817.

From the New Monthly Magazine, August 1817.

ORIGIN OF THE PRACTICE OF BURYING IN CHURCHYARDS.

T the close of an article inserted "The rites of burial are looked upon AT in your number for July, 1815, in all countries and at all times to be is the following query,-"When did sacred. Nor are we to wonder, that the the Christians first begin to bury in the ancient Greeks end Romans were exchurch-yard?"

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tremely solicitous about the interment of their deceased friends, since they were strongly persuaded, that their souls could not be admitted into the Elysian fields till their bodies were committed to the earth; and if it happened that they never obtained the rites of burial, they were excluded from the happy mansions for the term of 100 years.

VOL. 2.]

Extracts from Thoen's Narrative of his Sufferings.

265

Of those who were allowed the rites method was to put the body whole into of burial, some were distinguished by the ground, or if there was occasion for particular circumstances of disgrace at- any other way of burying, they embalmtending their interment: thus persons ed the body and laid it in a catacomb. killed by lightning were buried apart by The Danes and northern nations, in themselves; those who wasted their pat- their second age buried their dead under rimony forfeited the right of being buri- earthen hillocks. Sometimes huge pyed in the sepulchres of their fathers; ramids of stone were raised over their and those who were guilty of self-murder hodies, many of which are still remaining were privately deposited in the ground in divers parts of England.

without the accustomed solemnities. In the eighth century the people beAmong the Jews, the privilege of burial gan to be admitted into the church-yards; was denied only to self murderers, who and some princes, founders, and bishops were thrown out to rot on the ground. into the church. The practice was first The primitive Christian church denied introduced into the Romish church by the more solemn rites of burial to un- Gregory the Great, who was brought baptized persons, self-murderers, and over into England by Cuthbert, Archb. excommunicated persons who continu- of Canterbury, about the year 750: and ed obstinate and impenitent, in a mani- the practice of erecting vaults in chancels fest contempt of the church's censures. and under the altars, was begun by LanThe place of burial among the Jews franc, Archbisop of Canterbury, when was never particularly determined. We he had re-built the church in this city, find they had graves in the town and about the year 1075. From that time the country, upon the highways, in gardens, matter seems to have been left to the and upon mountains. Among the Greeks, discretion of the bishop. By our comthe temples were made repositories for mon law no person can be buried within the dead in the primitive ages; yet, the the church without the consent of the general custom in latter ages with them incumbent, exclusively of the bishop as well as with the Romans and other because the freehold of the church beheathen nations, was to bury their dead longs to him, and he is deemed the best without their cities, and chiefly by the judge who are entitled to the favour of highways. They seem to have had a being buried in the church." particular aversion from burning; their

THE NARRATIVE OF JOHN ALBERTUS THOEN,

A NATIVE OF LEYDEN, AND A BRITISH SERJEANT IN THE BENGAL EUROPEAN ARTILLERY.

From the Gentleman's Magazine.

and whole body being dreadfully swelled; my legs in particular were of such a size, that when I sat with them stretched wide apart, the knees still nearly touched.

I ARRIVED at Kandy in January, 1803, with the army from Colombo, commanded by General M'Dowall. I was stationed in the top of the hill that overlooks the palace (in the rear), having About the beginning of June, proviunder my command 2 Europeans and 4 sions were very scarce, neither EuroGun Lascars, and having in charge 1 peans nor natives had any thing but pad mortar and 1 three-pounder, which three- dy to eat-not much of that, and mostly pounder was the gun afterwards used in damaged; arrack the Europeans had the attack of the palace from that height. constantly to the last. About this time, About the middle of the month of April, in consequence, I believe, of the want of I was taken sick one night with fever provisions, some of our people began to and swellings in my legs, and was soon desert. I was still very weak in the hosafterwards obliged to go into hospital pital: the Doctor ordered me a pair of (on the 1st of May); I continued very crutches, but I was not strong enough to ill the whole of the month, my head, legs, walk much with them. About the midLA ATHENEUM. Vol. 2.

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