Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

approximate angle to have been found, pect, that our author will find the then the plate must be fixed, so that true cause of the apathy and indifferits centre of attraction inclines from ence shewn him and his experiments, the pivot of the compass, at about the to which he alludes, p. 12, and to same angle; then, turning round the which we have also shortly adverted, binnacle, point by point, observe the to lie within this hitherto mysterious deviation caused by the plate; and if circle. these correspond with those given by It would be extremely unjust, howthe vessel, the plate is rightly adjust- ever, for us to assert, or even to insied; but if not, (as is most likely to nuate, that this censure attaches happen,) such trifling changes may be wholly to the venerable and ilmade in its position, which will be at- lustrious president. His liberality tained in a few trials."-P. 87. Our and candour are recorded over the author has given a particular descrip- earth; and we are ready to acknowtion of this plate, and the most proper ledge, that no man, at any one period of method of attaching it permanently to our history, has done more for the ad. the binnacle; but we had proceeded vancement of science and protection this far, when our limits admonished of genius than Sir Joseph Banks. us of the necessity of terminating our But his infirmities, which, from the own remarks ; we must, therefore, re- natural course of evnts, we are sorry fer the reader to the work itself on to say, must be many, probably leaves this interesting head of the book. For room to suppose, without invidious the same reason we must reluctantly interpretation, that his confidence is decline entering, as we fully intended, often abused; for experience demonupon our author's beautiful theory, by strates, that in every human instituwhich he determines the laws produc- tion there are always swarms of uning the diurnal variation of the com- profitable drones, proportionate to the pass; which, from the analogy of ex- magnitude and importance of that inperimental and computed results, ap- stitution, thrust into place by influence pears unquestionable; and which, be- and power, who are ever found to fating bottomed on correct philosophical ten on the credulity, or merits, or principles, seems to us the only theory genius, of meek, lonely, and unsusdeserving of the least attention. pecting minds; and, since this is un

Should the truth of this remark be avoidably the case, it would be foolish admitted, which indeed appears incon- to suppose, that an hemisphere, so trovertible, when clearly and dispas- brilliant and extensive as that which sionately understood, what, we should surrounds the chair of the Royal Solike to know, will the worshippers of ciety, can be altogether free of such M. Biot say to Mr Barlow's able, but harpies. modest, exposition of an error of 7° in Our love of justice, and respect for that theory, regarding the laws regu- the genius and merit displayed in Mr lating the dip, or inclination, of the Barlow's valuable book, have impelled needle, which the French mathema- us to say this much; for it would be tician has had the address to impose a strange dereliction of our duty, so long on the credulity of his vota- which has hitherto, we trust, been imries; and which, by our author's theo- partially discharged, did we pass over, ry, a discovery Biot never dreamed of, without animadversion, this glaring bears a close affinity with the laws re- instance of ungenerous conduct to a gulating the daily variation and de- man, evidently of great abilities. What viation of the compass. After this ex- we have said, however, will probably posure for though the Frenchman is produce little effect towards restoring an able mathematician, yet he is no that Society to its original excellence, experimenter-we could fain hope, or Mr Barlow to its future protection that the eyes and ears of the venerable and regard; be it so. But we can chairman, or president, of the Royal assure our author, that if he only conSociety, that monument of British tinues his studies with the same perglory, will now be open to English severing ardour every where manifesto merit and justice : and, in future, pre- ed throughout his book, which wevent the malignant influence of foreign earnestly recommend to the serious counsels swaying the important de- consideration of the public, his incisions of that illustrious society. We dustry and talents will very soon renhave more reasons than one for mak. der him altogether independent of ing this remark; and we strongly sus, that or any other Society whatever.

RECOLLECTIONS.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

No II.

Mark Macrabin, the Cameronian. Wisdom has many worshippers, while nal cartoons full of maiden and matron Chance, pure Chance, has not, as of old, beauty, and austere manly grace. But either temple or votaries--this is far to my tale. from right. The wind-sown seeds of In one of December's darkest evenChance come as yellow and heavy to ings I was walking homewards through the harvest sickle as the best drilled Lyndoch-lane. When I came below and dibbled seeds of reverend Wisdom, one of the patent lamps which diffuses and that from her fattest fallow. All light, pursuant to act of Parliament, my best laid schemes of pleasure, am- I was suddenly accosted by a person bition, or happiness, have failed or of importance, Mr Marmaduke Grunfaded—while Chance, whom I never stane, the collector, who, seizing my wooed at all, kept Dropping, often sleeve, whispered rather audibly, " showering on me, some of her best and beg pardon, sir-I do indeed, sirbalmiest blessings, and cheered me but you are as loyal a man as ever paid by her windfalls from the stumblings rates.' I gazed at Mr Grunstane-I of wisdom and the counsels of many owed him not a shilling-indeed, I had friends. Two chief blessings I owe his receipt in my pocket-and was to my Goddess-by Chance I learned about to pull it out, when he raised his to distinguish verse from prose--a 'voice, and said, “ May I never finger peerless gift—" See,” said a sage old a rate more, if this same suspicious sort lady_"what is ragged at the ends, and of a man is not become more dangercannot keep the even margin of the ous than ever. “ Be good enough, leaf, is poetry-graceless poetry ;--but Sir,” said I, " to tell me something that which is straight, orderly, and of what you mean.' Mean, sir, evenly, is prose-precious preaching said he, "why, I mean, sir, that ever prose. And, by the merest Chance since this same Mark Mack-what in the world, I am enabled to write d'ye callum-and his shop came among a true and delightful history of mine us, evening and morning-he utters the honest and ancient friend, Mark Ma- strangest things—sings seditious songs, crabin, the Cameronian. How this reads seditious books, and prays treacame to pass must not be revealed like 'sonable prayers. I have heard him a playhouse landscape-pull the string, sing cursed strong things, sir-" The and lo! and behold! It must be un- Lord's my shepherd, I'll not want, folded carefully and ingeniously, like which means more, sir, than meets a Herculaneum parchment under the 'the ear"-" The very song the Miller inquisitorial spectacles of six sage of Mansfield sung when he helped members of the Antiquarian Society. himself to the bishop's meal," said I.

It is now many years since I left « Why, 'tis treasonable”my native vale of Nith-and things son, sir,” said the collector, as the act have come to pass which might well hath it, and as Mr Counsel Strapum plead my pardon if her landscape and says. Then, sir, he reads loud and her people were now as dimly remem- long about a handy sort of a woman, bered as in a dream. Hope was high, called Jewel, the wife of Hobler of ahd untried life lay before me like a Kent, and her nail hammer, sir.* We vista in romance, lovely, and bright, all know what that means. and unblemished. The pageant is Thus was the collector proceeding, passed and gone-but the beautiful misinterpreting as a man of obtuse inteland beaming faces which thronged the lect may, the impressive domestic devoprocession, haunt and charm me still. tion of my native land, thus unexpecta Even so it is-so strongly and durably edly lifting up its voice in a strange do all those forms and faces in which country, when his singular commentary my youthful heart claimed an interest was interrupted by a clear, deep, and live and breathe in my remembrance, melodious voice, which, from a house that, were I so gifted, I could paint eter- opposite, struck into that divine psalm

“ Flat trega

Perhaps Jael, the wife of Heber, the Kenite.

VOL. VI.

3 T

[ocr errors]

а

the eighth-gracing the words of With this man's name and calling I the regal minstrel with the noble and was busy making very agreeable assopathetic tune of The Martyrs. To ciations, when I was aroused by a trethis unwonted greeting, my heart mendous peal from the knocker of the responded with a strong throb; and I Cameronian's door, which, in the adroit was on the point of lifting my voice hand of the collector, raised a din aloud with the stray worshipper, when equivalent to the summons of a pyeMr Grunstane addressed me: “ Come coated footman at the door of some with me, sir: this man must cross the man who, unluckily for his repose,

is herring brook with a tutor chosen by acquainted with an earl new come to the magistrates, else my name shall be his coronet, or a confidential clerk in no more Grunstane.” 'So saying, he a city banking-house. The patient walked up to the house from whence dealer in hose reflecting, perchance, the sounds came that had dismayed that the eighth psalm, and the tune of him so deeply, and I accompanied him, the Martyrs, would endure when all for the sake of seeing the end of the who now wear Scottish hose, or read strange intrusion. I saw he was cheap tracts, or Peden's Prophecies

, meditating. “ Now, Mr What- or Zachary Boyd's last battle--a book you know your name, my good sir, I would gladly get-were passed and said the collector, “ let us walk with gone,-arose, and began to adventure the law in this matter, sir. First, then, slowly forth, measuring step by step, what is the fellow's name—his exact balancing the matter between business name ;-the law, my dear sir, can and devotion. “ Mr Marmaduke touch' nothing unless it has a name; Grunstane,” said I, “this seems an but seem

what does this man call unseasonable time to discuss the merhimself ?-I'll warrant the knave has its of Mark Macrabin's political creed. picked out some good name or other Moreover, I do suspect there is neito bring into disgrace ;--an old trick, ther sedition in the eighth Psalm, sir,-'twas but last year a fellow at the which you have disturbed him in Old Bailey had the presumption to call singing, nor treason in worshipping himself Mr Gilbert Grunstane, and God after a man's own heart, and the was actually hanged with that honoure manner of his country."-" Hark'e, able name in his custody.”

friend," said the collector, “ d'ye While this man spoke, I looked above think-Zookers! d’ye think I don't the door, and there, on a board black know a psalm from a seditious song?" and broad, was painted an ample book, and as he said this, the door opened, in the commendable act of disclosing its and the dealer in Scottish hose and contents to the passer-by, and undere cheap tracts stood silent before him, neath stood printed in modest gray let- but silent only for a moment: “What ters, “ Mark Macrabin, Cameronian, wantest thou ?” he said, in the Dealer in Scottish Hose and Cheap tone of a man touched at being unTracts, Religious and Political.” But timeously disturbed : “ Sawest thou very shrewdly distrusting the informa- not my warehouse of commodities was tion of the multitude, respecting the closed? heardest thou not the ninth very ancient name“ Hose," or even the hour ring in the chapel clock? and, letters which composed it, he had ad- moreover, didst thou not hear me esded, by way of marginal supplement, saying to sing a psalm ?” Having a pair of notable parson-gray hose, thus soothed his devotional feelings, which, at a reduced angle, formed a he continued in the tone of a man respectable St Andrew's cross: nor willing to accommodate : “ This is is it improbable, that the ingenious doubtless an ill hour to examine the proprietor of this singular sign-board merits of the things of this world, had introduced the book spread out though my hose," and he glanced at and displayed from similar motives, the collector's legs,

are such as men for it is known that many of our radi- may buy blindfold; and my books, cals very laudably buy their weekly looking at the upper region of his visixpence worth of sedítion and blase sitant, into which nothing but the phemy, in the hope of bribing, with a gainful golden rule of three had ever pint and pipe, to read and expound been able, under the semblance of it, some more fortunate person, whose learning, to penetrate,—" are such as learning is not confined to the primi- the wise and well-disposed only purtive score and tally,

chase, but their contents cannot harm

even ignorance-so thou mayest walk growing late, with being introduced to in,"

your book of seditious verses, out of And in the collector strode, pulled which even now you were singing that off his hat and laid it on the table treasonable song.' “ In the name of plucked forth his rate-book and ink, water and fire, and the heart of corn, horn, and looking full in the face of the three ancient gods of Galloway, the retailer of warm hose and wise said Mark Macrabin, what sort of a tracts, said, “ So your name is Mark being art thou ?-If I thought thou Macrabin-an outlandish name and an wert a radical knave, come hither to odd one; but a name good enough for revile and make mouths at that all that: and you write after your Book, and him who believes in it, I name, ' Cameronian,' some radical de- would assuredly chasten thee with signation, I presume. And you pro- these thirty-seven English inches of

I fess to deal in Caledonian hose and oak, called an ellwand, till thou didst cheap tracts, religious and political.” become humble and contrite. But as Mark answered, with a glance of in- I do in verity believe thou art much quisitive gravity,--" Verily, even as more fool than knave, and mayest thou sayest, with the omission of thy spread an evil report, I shall show intrusive commentary.” Thou not thee that Book; and if I do not make me, said Mr Marmaduke Grunstane. thee learn the first verse of it by heart,

Thou not me-you shall be taught a grievous task to thee perchance, but humility, and that soon, between stone a pleasure to others--may the sound, walls, and thy northern hose well gare rational, and wise books which fill my tered with comfortable cold iron. - shelves, become as foolish as thou art, What thinkest thou of that most wise and as profane as Carlisle ; and may Mark?- Thou indeed!" Mark utter- my warm comfortable hose, framed in ed not one word, but with great calm- a good lowland loom, become as thin ness lifted an ellwand of oak of three as the work of the spider or the spawn years growth, shod at one end with of Spittalfields.” So saying, he strode, massy iron, and divided into quarters, ellwand and all, into an interior rethe quarters into nails, the nails again cess, out of which he instantly reinto inches, with large nobs of brass. appeared, bearing a huge folio, coThis formidable quarter-staff he laid vered with rough spotted calf-skin, on the counter, and, with the meek- and clasped with two broad and massy ness of a true and well armed Chris- clasps of pure and solid silver ; untian, awaited the result.

clasping the volume, he laid i: open Mark's martial preparation affected on the table. very visibly

the collector's hand It was a beautiful black print Biand the redness, natural and ac- ble, from the press of the sixth quired, fled from his face, except James, adorned with curious wooda double portion of scarlet which cuts, forming an illustration of the sought refuge in the point of his text equally as obvious as the mo

This protuberance at all times dern mass of commentaries which endeserved attention, and usually at- cumber the simple original. Fronttracted it; it was swelled out into ing the title-page appeared, written in whelks and knobs of sundry hues, re- a neat old-fashioned hand, the whole sembling a half crushed bunch of blue ancestry of Mark Macrabin from the grapes, or a bruised handful of ripe time tradition had first noticed it. mulberries. And at present its fiery Gilboah Macrabin laid the corner red extremity seemed willing to drop stone of the family fame; he passed blood, even before the ellwand of the the Tweed with David Lesley, and Cameronian had applied for such a distinguished himself in routing the proof of its merit as a weapon. The royalists at Newburn on the Tyne; collector gave one glance to the door, the first blood drawn in the civil war in the shadow of which I stood, pleas- was drawn by the sword of Gilboah. ed beyond all remembrance at his con- He marched to the bloody battle of sternation, and en glancing side- Marston Moor with this very volume ways at Mark's brazen studded auxi- bound on his back, and made himself liary, like one who sees an adder ready remarkable by his cool and determined to leap from its coil, said, So, sir, bravery. But he owed his life to this the name and vocation, as you have singular piece of proof mail, which confessed, are safe, are written down : foiled two desperate thrusts of a cavaa Sir, I shall now content me, as it is lier's lance when the Covenanters were

nose,

66

« I don't

charged in the rear. It was present men, who signalize the heroes of also at the fierce skirmish of Drum- the last birth-day. The elder Grunclog, borne in the same primitive man- stanea simple man, who preferred ner by Gideon the son of Gilboah, the signature of a St Andrew's cross where its owner added the glory of to all the pomp of penmanship, hapslaying three of Claverhouse's proof- pened to hear some learned merchants coat troopers, to the fame of the house calculating their running profits. of Macrabin. And as it had arrested “For my part,” said one, “ I cleared the sheer descent of one cuirassier's twenty-five per cent. net by my last sword, and repulsed the thrust of anoth- speculation ;' " and I,” said another, er, it acquired prodigious popularity, « shall be ill pleased indeed, if mine and was, by the command of Ramoth is less than twenty-seven.”

Gentle Gilead, the preacher, separated from men,” said Mr Grunstane, the reluctant shoulders and swathing exactly know what you mean by your plaid of its proprietor, and borne aloft twenty-fiveor twenty-seven per cent; as a banner before the host. But it lost, for my part,” said he, assuming the as a banner, much of the fame it had look and tone of the most exemplary acquired when attached to the valiant moderation, “ I always think I have persons of Gideon and Gilboah. It profit enough when I get the one half was struck down and trodden upon, of the other.” at the bloody passage of Bothwell To the descendant of this moderBrigg, and wonld have been scattered ate and limited dealer, did Mark in the wind, leaf by leaf, had not Macrabin unfold the venerable volGideon returned at night from the ume-the shield as well as consolamountains, and at the peril of his life, tion of his ancestors.

" Lo! and picked up his family book. His joy behold, man,” said the Cameronian, was great, and in its fulness he vow- his wrath visibly abated by touching ed-and as he was of Gallwegian ex- and contemplating a book so honourtraction, he vowed by the three an- able and dear to his name.

“ Seem cient gods of the district, already no- read-believe-and judge for thyself ; ticed by his descendant-that man's seest thou ought seditious there?” So tongue or man's hand, singly or col. saying, he placed his finger on the lectively, should no more separate him eighth psalm—but kept close hold, as from it-and he kept his vow. It a priest clutches a profitable relic, was his companion by day, and his whilst he submits it to the lips of pillow by night, till the Revolution some suspicious looking pilgrim. brought bloodless times. The family Sorely seemed the collector perplexed; history now grew wonderous brief. the ready frankness of Mark, the array The allegorical tree of lineage sent of Saxon black letter, which, in the viforth shoots, neither to the south nor cinity of the brazon studded ellwand, to the west, but shot up perpendicular and the darkness of his own ignorance, as a poplar in one undeviating stem- equalled in mystery an entire mounfinally terminating with the present tain of Egyptian history, or the Ogham incumbent Mark, who with no small alphabet of the Sister Island, to those, pride displayed this honourable testi- and they must be many, who lack the mony to his name, before the sharp faith of Colonel Vallency ; but above gray eyes of the parish collector, the all, the ellwand itself, hoary and iron chief of the name of Grunstane. headed, and which bore testimony of

The Grunstanes, a numerous and an. having taken measure of carcasses as cient clan, certainly are more conver- well as cloth ; all these tended to unsant with stowage, pilotage, barter, settle his power of reflection and deand brokerage, and the relationship range the accuracy of his calculations : of six to seven, than with perilous " I tell thee, man,” said Mark, " this achievements by spear and sword. is a book my fathers bore through peril As their name has not opened an ac- and through blood ; with me it hath count with the Herald's-office, and as, fallen on more peaceful times. I have perchance, these dispensers of Griffins carried it through the pleasant vale and Blue Lions, are expensive retain of the South, and verily it walked with ers in dubious pedigrees, I shall me upon the bosom of the vast deep, spare it one anecdote, which may fur- as I passed to and from the western nish a motto and a hint for the arms world." Nevertheless, the collector, in to some of these ingenious gentle« spite of the rough exterior, the silver

[ocr errors]

a

« ZurückWeiter »