Imagens da página

His apprenticeship expired early in ing descended to the foot of the fall, 1807, when he at once formed a reso- he became so much occupied in the lution so completely contrary to his contemplation of this magnificent pecuniary interests, as to astonish scene, and the collection of specimens those of his friends who could not of natural history, that, darkness overenter into his views. Indeed, to those taking him before he was aware of its with whom the “auri sacra fames” is approach, he was under the necessity the governing principle, it must have of sleeping for the night upon the appeared little sbort of insanity, to bank of the river, not having paid so leave the brightest prospects, con- particular attention to the path by nected with a most lucrative and exten- which he descended, as to be able to sive business, with every chance of retrace his steps:--an undertaking succeeding to his uncle's fortune, for which, indeed, ander such circumthe apparently wild scheme of explor-stances, the most venturous would ing the forests of America, in search scarcely have attempted. of those treasures which were, to bim, He now returned to Philadelpbia, “better than gold.” Such, however, where he continued for some time, and was the course which he chose to pur- where a sincere and close friendship sue: nature was, to bim, “in every sprung up between Dr. Barton and charm supreme;' and baving collected bimself, generated by similar porhis little patrimony, he sailed from suits, and which was only terminated Liverpool, for America, in the March by the death of the former. It was of that year.

after this celebrated naturalist, that Having resided in New York and Mr. N. called a plant (Bartonia) which Philadelphia for some time, he set out he discovered high up the Missouri. alone on a very extensive pedestrian Soon after, Mr. N. was employed as tour among the North American lakes. naturalist in an expedition sent out During this journey, he underwent by the American government to exmany most severe privations, being plore the source of the Missouri, but frequently, for days together, without of this journey we have no particulars seeing a human being, bivouacking at from his own pen. night, and relying on contingency for In the latter end of 1812, he again his subsistence. In these solitudes, it visited England, the public and pribecame a great luxury to meet with vate collections of which, he enriched an Indian wigwam; and a slice of with a great variety of specimens of buffalo meat furnished, to him, a more the mineral and vegetable productions delicious repast than the finest haunch of America; and while here he formed of venison would to a London alder- many valuable scientific connexions. man. During this journey, from his Having spent several months in frequent intercourse with the different exploring those parts of his native Indian tribes whom he met with, and country most rich in the mineralogical often accompanied in their wandering and botanical productions of nature, expeditions, he acquired a knowledge he visited London, and was there of several of their dialects. Of this honoured with the distinction of F.L.S. information he purposes to put the in 1814. In the same year he went public in possession, by the publica- over to Paris with his uncle, and durtion of a work announced in the pre-ing his residence there, enriched the face to his volume on the “Arkansa Jardin de Plantes with many American Territory," under the following title: specimens, in return for which he con“A General View and Description of siderably enlarged his own berbarium. the Aboriginal Antiquities of the West- Having bad frequent conversations ern States, and some Essays on the with him, respecting this visit to Languages of the Western Indians, France, we have been surprised to and their connexion with those of discover how entirely his mind had other parts of the world ; involving, in been occupied in his favourite pursome measure, a general View of Lan- suits, by the small attention which he guage, both oral and graphical.” appeared to bave paid to those events

In visiting the falls of Niagara, he which then formed the staple commoexhibited a striking instance of that dity of conversation throughout Euabstraction of mind which is so com- rope; and which, it might have been mon among men who are bent on the reasonably supposed, must have forced pursuit of one particular object. Hav- themselves on bis notice in Paris, at


Brief Memoir of Thomas Nuttall, F. L. S.


every step. But, no! crystallization the history of the country, and with and cleavage, calices and antheræ, l that of the unfortunate aborigines, had more charms for him than “the who are so rapidly dwindling into pride, pomp, and circumstance of oblivion, and whose fate may, in sucglorious war;" and the beauteous pro- ceeding generations, excite a curioductions of nature were to him more sity and compassion denied them fascinating than the martial appear- by the present, I have considered ance and splendid appointments of the myself partly excused, in offering congregated armies of Europe. a small edition to the scientific part

At the end of 1814, he again returned of the community, just sufficient to to America, and occupied bimself in defray the expenses of the printer, preparing a work entitled “The Ge | who kindly undertook the publication nera of North American Plants, and at his own risk. I may safely say, a Catalogue of the Species, to the that hitherto, so far from writing for year 1817;" which was published in | emolument, I have sacrificed both time 1818 at Philadelphia, in 2 vols. duo- and fortune to it. For nearly ten decimo. We believe this work to be years I have travelled throughout by far the most complete ever published America, principally with a view of on the subject; and one of the highest becoming acquainted with some facompliments that any literary produc-vourite branches of its natural history. tion can receive, has been bestowed I have had no other end in view than upon this, by its translation into more personal gratification, and in this I than one European language.

have not been deceived, for innocent Immediately after the appearance amusement can never leave room for of these volumes, Mr. N. undertook a regret. To converse, as it were, with journey into the Arkansa Territory, in nature, to admire the wisdom and which he was engaged about 18 months, beauty of creation, has ever been, and and the result of his researches he I hope ever will be, to me a favourite published in 1821. His intention in pursuit. To communicate to others a the issuing of this work, and the dis- portion of the same amusement and interested views which actuated him gratification has been the only object in its publication, are sufficiently ex-of my botanical publications; the most plained in the preface. “To those," remote idea of personal emolument he remarks, “who eagerly peruse the arising from them, from every circumnarratives of travellers for pastime or stance connected with them, could not transitory amusement, the present have been admitted into calculation. volume is by no means addressed. It I had a right, however, reasonably to is no part of the author's ambition to expect from Americans, a degree of study the gratification of so fastidious candour, at least equal to that which a taste as that which but too generally my labours bad met with in Europe. governs the readers of the present day; But I have found, what, indeed, I a taste which has no criterion but might bave reason to expect from passing fashion, which spurns at cvery buman nature, often, instead of grati, thing that possesses not the charm of tude, detraction and envy. With such, novelty, and the luxury of embellish- I stoop not to altercate; my endeament. We live no longer in an age vours, however imperfect, having been that tolerates the plain unvarnish'd directed to the public good; and I tale. Our language must now be regret not the period I have spent in crowded with the spoils of those which roaming over the delightful fields of are foreign to its native idiom; it must Flora, in studying all her mysteries be perplexed by vanity, and rendered and enigmas, if I have, in any instance, ambiguous and redundant by capri- been useful to her cause, or opened to cious ornament. Hermes, no longer the idle wanderer ope fruitful field for the plain messenger of the gods, ex | useful reflection.” ercises all his deceit, and mingles In this work, besides its value in a luxury in the purest of intellectual scientific view, are contained numerous streams.

| highly interesting, and, it appears to “Had I solely consulted my own us, just and philosophical reflections gratification, the present volume would on the state of society in that improvprobably never have been offered to ing country, with various suggestions the public. But, as it may contain for the consideration of the Amerisome physical remarks connected with can government, and a most valuable appendix on the Aborigines of the I know, it has not been analyzed - but banks of the Mississippi.*

it probably consists chiefly of silex, In 1823, having been previously alumine, lime, and a little alkali.” appointed Professor of Natural His-. During Mr. N.'s various visits to tory in the University of Cambridge, England, he has not been upmindful U.S., Mr. N. once more crossed the of the town in which he spent several Atlantic for the British shores, where years of his life, but has contributed he was received, by the scientific part largely to the already extensive colof the community, with the considera-lection of plants in the botanic garden tion which bis reputation justly me- of Liverpool. As a corroboration of rited. While in this country, he visited this fact, we have been favoured, by Scotland, and resided for some time the kindness of Mr. Shepherd, the in Glasgow, where the society of his respectable conservator of that insti. learned friend, Dr. Hooker, affordedtution, with a list of more than 150 bim, as he has informed us, peculiar valuable exotics, which that gentlegratification. He was also introduced man assures us, forms but a moiety to the most celebrated men of the of Mr. N.'s donations; but which our Scottish metropolis, with whom he limits at present prevent us from inestablished a valuable, and, no doubt, serting. lasting connexion. Passing through On his departure for Boston, in Cumberland and the Lakes of West- May 1824, we had the pleasure of moreland, on his return to his native accompanying bim to the vessel. He town, he availed himself of the oppor- bad obtained a numerous collection tunity to collect many valuable speci- of living plants from various quarters; mens of the mineralogical productions the most valuable part of which was of these counties. During his stay deposited in a box formerly belonging in London, in which city he spent to Sir Joseph Banks, and having that several months, on one occasion, when | gentleman's name cat in the wood. exhibiting to his friends some of the To this box, and its contents, he fossil productions of America, Mr. | attached great value, and placed H. J. Brooke discovered among them it on deck. As we sprang ashore, one, which, as a new species, he deno- after having shaken havds, and wished minated Nuttallite. For the following him a prosperous voyage, a tremenscientific description of this mineral, dous shower of rain came on, with we are indebted to the politeness of every indication of its long continuDr. Traill, of Liverpool:

ance. Wę, of course, expected him “Nuttallite was discovered in 1824, to descend into the cabin, but were by Mr. H.J. Brooke of London, among mucb surprised to observe him sitting some minerals brought to this country on deck; and, having opened the lids by Mr. Nuttall. A specimen of it, of bis box, watching, amid “the peltgiven to me by that gentleman, was ing of the pitiless storm,” bis plants supposed to be either a variety of imbibing the genial moisture. In Scapolite, or the mineral called Elaolite. the enjoyment of this peculiar luxury, It resembles the latter in colour, and he continued with folded arms, till the a peculiar play of light: but Mr. Brooke receding vessel withdrew him from finds that it differs in the essential our sight. character of cleavage from Elaolite, Mr. N. is now, we believe, engaged as well as in hardness and lastre. It | in the delivery of lectures at the Uniapproaches, in many respects, to Sca-versity, of which he is a professor. polite, of which some may be disposed These, it is highly probable, will bereto consider it a variety, but it differs after be published; and, from the from that substance in being softer diligence and perseverance with which and more glassy in its fracture. The he has prosecuted his researches, primitive form of its crystal appears there can be no doubt that they to be a right-square prism. As far as will prove a valuable acquisition to

* The Augean stable of modern criticism science, in the departments to which assuredly requires the labours of anotber Her they refer. cules, when the obvious merits of a work are Mr. N. is about the middle size, overlooked, and some trifling inaccuracies of slightly, but muscularly formed: for style are singled out as the only matters worthy

an excellent likeness of bim, we refer of remark. Such is the character of the notice which this work received from the Literary

our readers to the portrait which acGazette.

companies this memoir,

[merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors]


I probable, fact bas assumed the cha

racter of fiction; and from the manner There is scarcely either a boy or girl in wbich truth and falsehood have throughout the country, who has not been blended in the history of this frequently beard of Whittington and celebrated individual, it is scarcely his Cat. The tale has long taken pos- possible to assign specific boundaries session of the nursery, and, in juvenile to either. estimation, it holds a rank scarcely That there was such a person as inferior to Goody Two-shoes, to Jack Whittington, who, being a poor lad, the Giant-killer, or even to Tom Thumb begged his way from Shropshire to himself.

London,was entertained in the hosOf Sir Richard Whittington, sopital of St. John's, Clerkenwell,-found many strange stories have been told, his way to Mr. Fitzwarren in the Mithat, the marvellous outweighing the nories,—was in a menial situation,

was ill-treated by the housekeeper,- availing themselves of this charity, no that he ran away,--sat on a stone one can be received whose aggregate between Holloway and Highgate,- income amounts to £30 per year, became irresolute,-heard Bow bells, and on all occasions, candidates, when in the ears of fancy, say

recommended, must be approved by • Turn again Whittington,

the masters, wardens, and assistants Thrice lord-mayor of London;"

of the worshipful Company of Merand that, in consequence of this sound, cers, in whom this endowment is inhe returned to his former drudgery, vested. are facts that no one presumes to Each inmate, in addition to a comquestion. The stone on which he sat, fortable abode, receives from this noble long remained as a memorial of his institution £30 per annum, and in singular fortane, and near the spot some instances occasional perquisites. where it stood, another has lately been A minister also of the establishment, erected, on which his nameis engraven, who resides on the spot, has been and also the years in which the pre- appointed to perform divine service, diction of Bow-bells was remarkably and to watch over their spiritual confulfilled, he being thrice lord-mayor cerns. The chapel, in which he offiof London, namely, in 1397, 1406, and ciates twice on each Lord's day, (11 1419. He is supposed to have received and 3 in the winter, and 11 and 6 durthe honour of knighthood in the year ing the summer,) stands near the centre 1376.

of the range, and is distinguished by On becoming a merchant he acquired the elevation of its spire. To the rites considerable wealth, and his liberality of the established church, all the inhawas equal to his means of supporting | bitants are expected to conform ; but, it. In 1413 he founded an alms-house prior to their admission, no inquiry is and college, in the Vintry, but the col- made respecting their religious sentilege was afterwards suppressed in the ments. reign of Edward VI. His alms-houses, The chapel is not under episcohowever, on College-hill, remained, pal consecration, but the minister is supported by his bounty, until August, licensed to perform divine service 1824, when they were superseded by among his flock, during which times the elegant buildings that appear in the any other persons in the vicinity are engraving. The time occupied in com- at liberty to attend. Although some pleting this range of edifices, was acres of ground are attached to the about three years; and the sum ex- | buildings, no portion has been allotted pended, according to contract, amount- as a place of interment. ed to £17,000; but it is highly probable! The chapel is remarkably neat; the that the expenditure has far exceeded floor is covered with matting, and the estimate.

every thing looks particularly clean. The site which these buildings oc- On the whole, the present situation is, cupy, is near Highgate Archway, not beyond all comparison, superior to far from the spot on which the stone that of College-hill, affording much appears that bears his name, and ad- better, and far more extensive, accomjoining the public road.

modations. The particular description of per- While we cannot but reflect with sons who were the first objects of his pleasure on the 'munificence of Sir bounty, we have no means of knowing Richard Whittington, a tribute of rewith accuracy ; but it is clearly ascer- spect is due to the worshipful Company tained, that the number was much less of Mercers, to whose probity and care than at present find a comfortable this trust was consigned. We have bome in this new retreat, now distin- seen public charities, richly endowed guished by the name of “ Whittington by generous individuals, diverge from College.” The persons occupying this their proper channel, and disappear tranquil abode are twenty-nine, exclu- like a fertilizing river flowing through sively females, but no distinction is a sandy desert; and it is but too well made, wbether they are spinsters or known, that such acts of sacrilegious widows. Under the age of fifty-five injustice have tended, in no small no one can be admitted, and in case degree, to dry up the sources of public of marriage, or improper conduct, each charity. is liable to be expelled.

With this godlike institution, howTo prevent improper persons from ever, the case is quite otherwise. The

« AnteriorContinuar »