The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Irish Penny Journal, Vol. 1 No. 43, April 24, 1841

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Title: The Irish Penny Journal, Vol. 1 No. 43, April 24, 1841

Author: Various

Release date: July 26, 2017 [eBook #55202]

Language: English

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[Pg 337]


Number 43. SATURDAY, APRIL 24, 1841. Volume I.
Drimnagh Castle


Among the many objects of historical or picturesque interest in the immediate vicinity of our metropolis, there are few, perhaps, better worthy of a visit than the subject of our prefixed illustration—the old Castle of Drimnagh, which is situated between the villages of Crumlin and Clondalkin, and distant about three miles from the city. We have here presented to us an ancient castellated residence, of irregular but highly picturesque outline, still surrounded and protected by its ancient moat, and, though in good condition and inhabited, still retaining to such an extent its original character as a place of strength, that as we look upon it, we might almost imagine ourselves living in the ages of its military greatness, and belonging to a state of society very different from that secure and peaceful one in which we happily have our existence. In addition to these circumstances, the Castle of Drimnagh is highly interesting, from the beauty and picturesqueness of its situation, which is not only strikingly romantic in itself, but commands a variety of views of the most pleasing character; as the scenery of the City and Bay towards the east; that of the Park, Castleknock, and Clondalkin, towards the north; and, in congenial harmony with its ivied walls, the dark mountains of the county of Dublin towards the south—the wild fastnesses of the Irish clans whose predatory aggressions it was originally built to repress.

The date of the erection of this castle is not exactly known, but there is every reason to presume that it was originally founded as early as the reign of John, by Hugh de Bernivale, who it is probable came with that Prince into Ireland, and at all events received in 1215 a grant from him of the lands of Drimnagh and Terenure, which continued in the possession of his descendants for four centuries afterwards. It is from this Hugh de Bernivale, who, as it is said, derived his descent from the ancient Dukes of Brittany, that the several noble families of Barnwall, in Ireland, descend. He died in 1221, leaving a son and heir, Hugo, who died without issue the 8th of October 1237; and another son, Reginald, who becoming heir to his brother, had his inheritance of four carracutes of land with their appurtenances in Drimnagh and Terenure confirmed to him by patent, by king Henry III. These possessions were ultimately, and after much litigation, alienated from the family in the reign of James I, when they passed into the hands of Sir Adam Loftus, ancestor of the noble family of Ely; but Drimnagh Castle is at present the property of the Marquis of Lansdowne.

The Castle of Drimnagh has been repaired or re-edified at various times, so that it is not an easy matter to determine at present what portions of it are of great antiquity, and what are altogether of more recent date; but upon the whole it will convey a very good idea of the fortified residence of a noble family in Ireland previous to the close of the seventeenth century. During the troubles consequent upon the great rebellion of 1641, it was considered a fortress of such consequence that the Duke of Ormond had, in 1649, some thoughts of strengthening its fortifications and making it his residence, but was dissuaded from doing so by General Purcile and other officers of his army.


[Pg 338]



There is scarcely a trait of human nature involved in more mystery, or generally less understood, than the singular strength of affection which binds the humble peasant of Irish life to his foster-brother, and more especially if the latter be a person of rank or consideration. This anomalous attachment, though it may to a certain extent be mutual, is nevertheless very seldom known to be equal in strength between the parties. Experience has sufficiently proved to us, that whilst instances of equality in feeling have been known to characterize it, the predominant power of its spirit has always been found to exist in the person of the humbler party. How to account for this would certainly require a more philosophical acquaintance with human nature than has fallen to our lot; we must therefore be content to know that the fact is precisely as we have stated it. Irish history and tradition furnish us with sufficient materials on which to ground clear and distinct proofs that the attachment of habit and contiguity in these instances far transcends that of natural affection itself. It is very seldom that one brother will lay down his life for another, and yet instances of such high and heroic sacrifices have occurred in the case of the foster-brother, whose affection has thus not unfrequently triumphed over death itself. It is certainly impossible to impute this wild but indomitable attachment to the force of domestic feeling, because, whilst we maintain that the domestic affections in Ireland are certainly stronger than those of any other country in the world, still instances of this inexplicable devotion have occurred in the persons of those in whom the domestic ties were known to be very feeble. It is true, there are many moral anomalies in the human heart with which we are as yet but imperfectly acquainted; and as they arise from some wayward and irregular combination of its impulses, that operates independently of any known principles of action, it is not likely that we shall ever thoroughly understand them. There is another peculiarity in Irish feeling, which, as it is analogous to this, we cannot neglect to mention it. We allude to the Parisheen, a term which we must explain at further length to our readers. When the Dublin Foundling Hospital was in existence, the poor infants whom an unhappy destiny consigned to that gloomy and withering institution were transmitted to different parts of the country, to be nursed by the wives of the lower classes of the peasantry—such as day-labourers, cottiers, and small farmers, who cultivated from three to six or eight acres of land. These children were generally, indeed almost always, called Parisheens—a word which could be properly applied only to such as, having no known parents, were supported by the parish in which they happened to be born. It was transferred to the Foundlings, however; although, with the exception of the metropolis, which certainly paid a parish tax for their maintenance, they were principally supported by a very moral act of Parliament, which, by the wise provision of a large grant, held out a very liberal bounty to profligacy. At all events, the opprobrious epithet of Parisheen was that usually fixed upon them.

Now, of all classes of our fellow-creatures, one might almost naturally suppose that those deserted and forsaken beings would be apt, consigned as they uniformly were to the care of mercenary strangers, to experience neglect, ill-treatment, or even cruelty itself; and yet, honour be to the generous hearts and affectionate feelings of our humble people, it has been proved, by the incontestible authority of a Commission expressly appointed to examine and report on the working of the very hospital in question, that the care, affection, and tenderness with which these ill-fated creatures were treated by the nurses to whom they were given out, was equal, if not superior, to that which was bestowed upon their own children. Even when removed from these nurses to situations of incomparably more comfort—situations in which they were lodged, fed, and clothed, in a far superior manner—they have been known, in innumerable instances, to elope from their masters and mistresses, and return to their old abodes, preferring the indulgence of their affection, with poverty and distress, to any thing else that life could offer.

All this, however, was very natural and reasonable, for we know that even the domestic animal will love the hand that feeds him. But that which we have alluded to as constituting the strong analogy between it and the attachment of the foster-brother, is the well-known fact, that the affection of the children to the nurses, though strong and remarkable, was as nothing when compared with that which the nurses felt for them. This was proved by a force of testimony which no scepticism could encounter. The parting scenes between them were affecting, and in many instances agonizing, to the last degree. Nay, nurses have frequently come up to Dublin, and with tears in their eyes, and in accents of the most unfeigned sorrow, begged that the orphans might be allowed to stay with them, undertaking, rather than part with them, that they would support them at their own expense. It would be very difficult to produce a more honourable testimony to the moral honesty, generosity, and exquisite kindness of heart which characterize our people, than the authentic facts we have just mentioned. They fell naturally in our way when treating of the subject which preceded them, and we could not, in justice to circumstances so beautiful and striking, much less injustice to the people themselves, pass them over in silence.

We shall now relate a short story, illustrating the attachment of a foster-brother; but as we have reason to believe that the circumstances are true, we shall introduce fictitious names instead of real ones.

The rebellion of ninety-eight was just at its height, when the incidents we are about to mention took place. A gentleman named Moore had a daughter remarkable for her beauty and accomplishments. Indeed, so celebrated had she become, that her health was always drunk as the toast of her native county. Many suitors she had, of course, but among the rest two were remarkable for their assiduous attentions to her, and an intense anxiety to secure her affections. Henry Irwin was a high loyalist, as was her own father, whose consent to gain the affections of his daughter had been long given to his young friend. The other, who in point of fact had already secured her affections, was unfortunately deeply involved in, or we should rather say an open leader on, the insurgent side. His principles had become known to Moore, as republican, for some time before the breaking out of the insurrection; in consequence he was forbidden his house, and warned against holding communication with any member of his family. He had succeeded, however, before this, by the aid of Miss Moore herself, who was aware of his principles, in placing as butler in her father’s family his own foster-brother, Frank Finnegan—an arrangement which never would have been permitted, had Moore known of the peculiar bond of affection which subsisted between them. Of this, however, he was ignorant; and in admitting Finnegan into his family, he was not aware of the advantages he afforded to the proscribed suitor of his daughter. This interdiction, however, came too late for the purposes of prudence. Ere it was issued, Hewson and his daughter had exchanged vows of mutual affection; but the national outbreak which immediately ensued, by forcing Hewson to assume his place as an insurgent leader, appeared to have placed a barrier between him and her, which was naturally considered to be insurmountable. In the meantime, Moore himself, who was a local magistrate, and also a captain of yeomanry, took an extremely active part in quelling the insurrection, and in hunting down and securing the rebels. Nor was Irwin less zealous in following the footsteps of the man to whom he wished to recommend himself as his future son-in-law. They acted together; and so vigorous were the measures of the young loyalist, that the other felt it necessary in some instances to check the exuberance of his loyalty. This, however, was not known to the opposite party; for as Irwin always seemed to act under the instructions of his friend Moore, so was it obviously enough inferred that every harsh act and wanton stretch of authority which he committed, was either sanctioned or suggested by the other. The consequence was, that Moore became, if possible, more odious than Irwin, who was looked upon as a rash, hot-headed zealot; whilst the veteran was marked as a cool and wily old fox, who had ten times the cunning and cruelty of the senseless puppet he was managing. In this, it is unnecessary to say, they were egregiously mistaken.

In the meantime the rebellion went forward, and many acts of cruelty and atrocity were committed on both sides. Moore’s house and family would have been attacked, and most probably murder and ruin might have visited him and his, were it not for the influence of Hewson with the rebels. Twice did the latter succeed, and on each occasion with great difficulty, in preventing him and his household from falling victims to the vengeance of the insurgents. Moore was a man of great personal courage, but apt to underrate the character and enterprize of those who were opposed to him. Indeed, his prudence was by no means on a par with his bravery or zeal, for he has often been known to sally out at the head of a party in quest[Pg 339] of his enemies, and leave his own mansion, and the lives of those who were in it, exposed and defenceless.

On one of those excursions it was that he chanced to capture a small body of the insurgents, headed by an intimate friend and distant relative of Hewson’s. As the law at that unhappy period was necessarily quick in its operations, we need scarcely say, that, having been taken openly armed against the King and the Constitution, they were tried and executed by the summary sentence of a court-martial. A deep and bloody vengeance was now sworn against him and his by the rebels, who for some time afterwards lay in wait for the purpose of retaliating in a spirit prompted by the atrocious character of the times.

Hewson’s attachment to his daughter, however, had been long known, and his previous interference on behalf of her father had been successful on that account only. Now, however, the plan of attack was laid without his cognizance, and that with the most solemn injunctions to every one concerned in it not to disclose their object to any human being not officially acquainted with it, much less to Hewson, who they calculated would once more take such steps as might defeat their sanguinary purpose. These arrangements having been made, matters were allowed to remain quiet for a little, until Moore should be off his guard; for we must observe here, that he had felt it necessary, after the execution of the captured rebels, to keep his house strongly and resolutely defended. The attack was therefore postponed until the apprehensions created by his recent activity should gradually wear away, and his enemies might with less risk undertake the work of bloodshed and destruction. The night at length was appointed on which the murderous attack must be made. All the dark details were arranged with a deliberation at which, removed as we now are from the sanguinary excitement of the times, the very soul shudders and gets sick. A secret, however, communicated even under the most solemn sanction to a great number, stands a great chance of being no secret at all, especially during civil war, where so many interests of friendship, blood, and marriage, bind the opposing parties together in spite of the public principles under which they act. Miss Moore’s maid had a brother, for instance, who, together with several of his friends and relatives, being appointed to aid in the attack, felt anxious that she should not be present on that night, lest her acquaintance with them might be ultimately dangerous to the assailants. He accordingly sought an opportunity of seeing her, and in earnest language urged her to absent herself from her master’s house on the appointed night. The girl was not much surprised at the ambiguity of his hints, for the truth was, that no person, man or woman, possessing common sense, could be ignorant of the state of the country, or of the evil odour in which Moore and Irwin, and all those who were active on the part of government, were held. She accordingly told him that she would follow his advice, and spoke to him in terms so shrewd and significant, that he deemed it useless to preserve further secrecy. The plot was thus disclosed, and the girl warned to leave the house, both for her own sake and for that of those who were to wreak their vengeance upon Moore and his family.

The poor girl, hoping that her master and the rest might fly from the impending danger, communicated the circumstances to Miss Moore, who forthwith communicated them to her father, who, again, instead of flying, took measures to collect about his premises, during the early part of the dreaded night, a large and well-armed force from the next military station. Now, it so happened that this girl, whose name was Baxter, had a leaning towards Hewson’s foster-brother Finnegan, who in plain language was her accepted lover. If love will not show itself in a case of danger, it is good for nothing. We need scarcely say that Peggy Baxter, apprehensive of danger to her sweetheart, confided the secret to him also in the early part of the day of the attack. Finnegan was surprised, especially when he heard from Peggy that Hewson had been kept in ignorance of the whole design (for so her brother had told her), in consequence of his attachment to her young mistress. There was now no possible way of warding off such a calamity, unless by communicating with Hewson; and this, as Finnegan was a sound United Irishman, he knew he could do without any particular danger. He lost no time, therefore, in seeing him; and we need scarcely say that his foster-brother felt stunned and thunderstruck at the deed that was about to be perpetrated without his knowledge. Finnegan then left him, but ere he reached home, the darkness had set in, and on arriving, he sought the kitchen and its comforts, ignorant, as were indeed most of the servants, that the upper rooms and out-houses were literally crammed with fierce and well-armed soldiers.

Matters were now coming to a crisis. Hewson, aware that there was little time to be lost, collected a small party of his own immediate and personal friends, not one of whom, from their known attachment to him, had been, any more than himself, admitted to a knowledge of their attack upon Moore. Determined, therefore, to be beforehand with the others, he and they met at an appointed place, from whence they went quickly, and with as much secrecy as possible, to Moore’s house, for the purpose not only of apprising him of the fate to which he and his were doomed, but also with an intention of escorting him and all his family as far from his house as might be consistent with the safety of both parties. Our readers are of course prepared for the surprise and capture of honest Hewson and his friends, of whose friendly intentions they are aware. It is too true. Not expecting to find the house defended, they were unprepared for an attack or sally; and the upshot was, that in a few minutes two of them were shot, and most of the rest, among whom was Hewson, taken prisoners on the spot. Those who escaped communicated to the other insurgents an account of the strength with which Moore’s house was defended; and the latter, instead of making an attempt to rescue their friends, abandoned the meditated attack altogether, and left Hewson and his party to their fate. A gloomy fate that was. Assertions and protestations of their innocence were all in vain. An insurgent party were expected to attack the house, and of course they came, headed by Hewson himself, who, as Moore said, no doubt intended to spare none of them but his daughter, and her, only, in order that she might become a rebel’s wife. Irwin, too, his rival in love and his foe in politics, was on the court-martial, and what had he to expect? Death; and nothing but the darkness of the night prevented his enemies from putting it into immediate execution upon him and his companions.

Hewson maintained a dignified silence; and upon seeing his friends guarded from the hall where they were now assembled into a large barn, he desired to be placed along with them.

“No,” said Moore; “if you are a rebel ten times over, you are a gentleman; you must not herd with them; and besides, Mr Hewson, with great respect to you, we shall place you in a much safer place. In the highest room in a house unusually high, we shall lodge you, out of which if you escape, we will say you are an innocent man. Frank Finnegan, show him and those two soldiers up to the observatory; get him refreshments, and leave him in their charge. Guard his door, men, for you shall be held responsible for his appearance in the morning.”

The men, in obedience to these orders, escorted him to the door, outside of which was their station for the night. When Frank and he entered the observatory, the former gently shut the door, and, turning to his foster-brother, exclaimed in accents of deep distress, but lowering his voice, “There is not a moment to be lost; you must escape.”

“That is impossible,” replied Hewson, “unless I had wings and could use them.”

“We must try,” returned Frank; “we can only fail—at the most they can only take your life, and that they’ll do at all events.”

“I know that,” said Hewson, “and I am prepared for it.”

“Hear me,” said the other; “I will come up by and bye with refreshments, say in about half an hour; be you stripped when I come. We are both of a size; and as these fellows don’t know either of us very well, I wouldn’t say but you may go out in my clothes. I’ll hear nothing,” he added, seeing Hewson about to speak; “I am here too long, and these fellows might begin to suspect something. Be prepared when I come. Good bye, Mr Hewson,” he said aloud, as he opened the door; “in troth an’ conscience I’m sorry to see you here, but that’s the consequence of turnin’ rebel against King George, an’ glory to him—soon and sudden,” he added in an undertone. “In about half an hour I’ll bring you up some supper, sir. Keep a sharp eye on him,” he whispered to the two soldiers, giving them at the same time a knowing and confidential wink; “these same rebels are like eels, an’ will slip as aisily through your fingers—an’ the devil a better one yez have in there;” and as he spoke, he pointed over his shoulder with his inverted thumb to the door of the observatory.

Much about the time he had promised to return, a crash was heard upon the stairs, and Finnegan’s voice in a high key exclaiming, “The curse o’ blazes on you for stairs, an’ hell presume[Pg 340] all the rebels in Europe, I pray heavens this night! There’s my nose broke between you all!” He then stooped down, and in a torrent of bitter imprecations—all conveyed, however, in mock oaths—he collected and placed again upon the tray on which they had been, all the materials for Hewson’s supper. He then ascended, and on presenting himself at the prisoner’s door, the blood was copiously streaming from his nose. The soldiers—who by the way were yeomen—on seeing him, could not avoid laughing at his rueful appearance—a circumstance which seemed to nettle him a good deal. “Yez may laugh!” he exclaimed, “but I’d hould a wager I’ve shed more blood for his majesty this night than either of you ever did in your lives!”

This only heightened their mirth, in the midst of which he entered Hewson’s room; and ere the action could be deemed possible, they had exchanged clothes.

“Now,” said he, “fly. Behind the garden Miss Moore is waitin’ for you; she knows all. Take the bridle-road through the broad bog, an’ get into Captain Corny’s demesne. Take my advice too, an’ go both of you to America, if you can. But, aisy. God forgive me for pullin’ you by the nose instead of shakin’ you by the hand, an’ me may never see you more.”

The poor fellow’s voice became unsteady with emotion, although the smile at his own humour was upon his face at the time.

“As I came in with a bloody nose,” he proceeded, giving that of Hewson a fresh pull, “you know you must go out with one. An’ now God’s blessin’ be with you! Think of one who loved you as none else did.”

The next morning there was uproar, tumult, and confusion in the house of the old loyalist magistrate, when it was discovered that his daughter and the butler were not forthcoming. But when, on examining the observatory, it was ascertained that Finnegan was safe and Hewson gone, no language can describe the rage and fury of Moore, Irwin, and the military in general. Our readers may anticipate what occurred. The noble fellow was brought to the drum-head, tried, and sentenced to be shot where he stood: but ere the sentence was put in execution, Moore addressed him. “Now, Finnegan,” said he, “I will get you off, if you tell us where Hewson and my daughter are. I pledge my honour publicly that I’ll save your life, and get you a free pardon, if you enable us to trace and recover them.”

“I don’t know where they are,” he replied, “but even if I did, I would not betray them.”

“Think of what has been said to you,” added Irwin. “I give you my pledge also to the same effect.”

“Mr Irwin,” he replied, “I have but one word to say. When I did what I did, I knew very well that my life would go for his; an’ I know that if he had thought so, he would be standin’ now in my place. Put your sentence in execution; I’m prepared.”

“Take five minutes,” said Moore. “Give him up and live.”

“Mr Moore,” said he, with a decision and energy which startled them, “I am his Foster-Brother!

This was felt to be sufficient; he stood at the appointed place, calm and unshrinking, and at the first discharge fell instantaneously dead.

Thus passed a spirit worthy of a place in a brighter page than that of our humble miscellany, and which, if the writer of this lives, will be more adequately recorded.

Hewson, finding that the insurgent cause was becoming hopeless, escaped, after two or three other unsuccessful engagements, to America, instigated by the solicitations of his young wife. Old Moore died in a few years afterwards, but he survived his resentment, for he succeeded in reconciling the then government to his son-in-law, who returned to Ireland; and it was found by his will, much to the mortification of many of his relatives, that he had left the bulk of his property to Mrs Hewson, who had always been his favourite child, and whose attachment to Hewson he had himself originally encouraged.

There are two records more connected with this transaction, with which we shall close. In a northern newspaper, dated some fifteen years afterwards, there occurs the following paragraph:—

Affair of Honour—Fatal Duel.—Yesterday morning, at the early hour of five o’clock, a duel was fought between A. Irwin, Esq. and J. Hewson, Esq. of Mooredale, the former of whom, we regret to say, fell by the second fire. We hope the words attributed to one of the parties are not correctly reported. The blood of Frank Finnegan is now avenged.”

The other record is to be found in the churchyard of ——, where there is a handsome monument erected, with the following inscription:—

“Sacred to the memory of Francis Finnegan, whose death presented an instance of the noblest virtue of which human nature is capable, that of laying down his life for his friend. This monument is erected to his memory by James Hewson, his friend and foster-brother, for whom he died.”


With awe around these sacred walks I tread;
These are the lasting monuments of the dead:—
“The dead!” methinks a thousand tongues reply:
“These are the tombs of such as cannot die!
Crown’d with eternal fame, they sit sublime,
And laugh at all the little strife of time.”—Crabbe.

Our College Library is a creditable establishment—a goodly structure to look at, both inside and out—and has a choice and ample collection of books of all sizes and in all languages. Gentle reader, have you ever felt the book passion? Know you what it is? If not, belike you might walk down our noble library’s length, and survey the books and busts, and stalls and gallery at each side, and the beautiful antique manuscripts in glass cases at the end just before you enter the Fagel Library, and be no more impressed—you will excuse us—no more than a grave-digger in knocking about an old coffin or a skull, yea, though the skull should once have belonged to poor Yorick, the king’s jester! Ah, sir, the passion is a tender one, if you knew but all—full of lack-a-daisical and melancholy, yet pleasing fancies. There are people smitten by the mere outside of a book—by the fineness of the paper, the breadth of the margin, or the beauty of the letter-press; but they know nothing of the true affection. Give them an annual, or an album, or any other bit of gilt gingerbread, and they will have all they require to their hearts’ content. Let them make sonnets to their mistress’s eyebrow; there is no soul in them; they are mere dandies; they have nothing congenial with the true passion. To be a proper lover of books a man must have been a great reader of them; and the more his reading, the stronger will be his love for them. They then present themselves to him with their train of associations, and as his eye passes along the shelves, he recognises each volume as an old acquaintance: some he shakes hands with cordially; with some he exchanges a few words; others he just nods to, and to some perhaps he may give the cut direct; but he knows them all in some way or other. As the review of a fine army to an old general, so is a fine library to a true student. He loves to see his levy en masse, and in detail. The sight of them cheers his spirits, elevates his mind, and—mark this, gentle reader—gives him the idea of power. There lies a great secret, which in these costermonger days we deserve great credit for communicating to the world free-gratis for nothing.

Knowledge is power—that’s our major; there one stands in the midst of a noble army of books—that’s our minor, or lieutenant; then a man feels strong, and vastly well pleased with himself—and that is our fife and drum, or conclusion, by every law of drill or logic.

In our juvenile days, before we were A-B-C’d, and therefore before we enjoyed the privilege of free ingress and egress at the superb Old Trinity, we used to pass whole days of rumination in the quiet pastures of Marsh’s. This library, situate in an antique building to one side of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, is graciously open to the public in general, and to all under-graduates of the University in particular, and wears a secluded, cloistered, antiquated air about it, that invites to contemplation. You are there on classic ground. The genius of Swift seems to hover o’er you. You fancy yourself with an age that has passed away, and among spirits that have long since winged their flight from earth. Many a summer’s day have we mused and read, and read and mused, in its delightful solitude, without any other interruption save the cackling of hens and crowing of cocks in some of the neighbouring yards, the playing or screaming of children in Kevin-street or Mitre-alley, the scolding of women in some of the adjoining houses, or a few words of conversational politeness interchanged between us and the Rev. Mr Cradoe, the librarian, chiefly on the news of the morning.

But as a book-store, Marsh’s is not to be compared with the College Library. Formerly this splendid repository was open only four hours in the day for public use, from eight till[Pg 341] ten in the morning, and from eleven till one; but a more liberal access to its treasures has been conceded of late; the entire is now free from nine in the morning till four in the afternoon, without interruption. This is a great acquisition to the privileged, and has been attended by a vast increase of readers and visitors; but there is still room for amendment in particulars of no small importance to general convenience. We are happy to say, however, that to some of these the attention of the enlightened heads of the University has been directed, and that great improvements in the economy of the institution may at no distant day be expected. In the first place, the books are exceedingly ill arranged, and there is no printed catalogue of them, so that the visitor finds great difficulty in laying his hand upon those he may be in quest of; in addition to which it may be stated, that there is no attendant librarian, or other official whose duty it is to give information, or procure the work which the visitor may require. They order this matter better in France; but whatever may be intended as to such functionaries, we have learned with much satisfaction that a new catalogue is now in course of preparation, and that it is to be a printed one. The preparing of so great a work for the press must necessarily occupy a good deal of time. It has been, we understand, now about two years in hands, and will be completed, it is expected, in about two more. There are six writing-clerks constantly employed in preparing slips for the printer, under competent direction. A greatly improved classification will be effected, and the printed volumes, when perfected, will be offered for sale. Incidental to the execution of this great work, there will be a new and improved arrangement of the books on the shelves to correspond with that in the catalogues; and when both these important matters are effected, it is obvious that the difficulties which are now experienced in the pursuit of knowledge within this venerable gallery, will be in a great degree removed.

There is another point on which complaints are sometimes made, namely, the excessive cold of the building in winter. It was originally intended that no fires should be lit in it, as a security to its valuable but highly combustible contents against accident through that medium; but in this provision, it is plain, the preservative principle was much more attended to than the utilitarian, and is carried, as we conceive at the present day, to an unreasonable length. But, at all events, modern ingenuity can meet the difficulty; for the air may be heated by means of tubes, without the immediate presence of combustion; wherefore we are led to expect that the same liberal and enlightened spirit which has suggested and directed the realization of other improvements, will direct and realize this also in due time.

By the bye, the origin of this great establishment is curious. On the defeat of the Spaniards by the English at the battle of Kinsale in 1603, we are told that the triumphant soldiery determined to commemorate their victory by some permanent monument, and that they collected among themselves the sum of £1800, which they resolved should be laid out in the purchase of books for a library, to be founded in the then infant establishment of Trinity College.[1] This sum was handed to the celebrated Ussher, and by him judiciously expended, conformably to the wishes of the generous conquerors at Kinsale. And here we pause to pay our most profound respects to the memory of these literary warriors. Who would have expected that the most scientific, and studious, and intellectual men of our age, would owe the most splendid temple dedicated to their use, which the country can boast, to the bounty of a victorious soldiery in the beginning of the seventeenth century? There was a spirit of chivalry in this transaction which we cannot sufficiently admire; and though we live in an age in which we pique ourselves excessively on the march of intellect, we doubt that any testimonial more solid and convincing is producible by us to show that our organ of veneration in this respect is at all more highly developed than that of men who went before us in the days of Queen Elizabeth. The bequest at all events does honour to the profession of arms, and we are sure would be duly appreciated by a grateful posterity, as a memorial of their mind and achievements, if it were only more generally known.

So began our splendid University Library. In process of time its collection of volumes was increased by many valuable donations, till at length their growing number demanding a corresponding increase of room, the present edifice was erected for their reception. It is built of hewn stone, with a rich Corinthian entablature, crowned with a balustrade, reminding us in its appearance of the gallery of the Louvre at Paris, and was completed in 1732. The room is certainly the finest in the empire appropriated to such a purpose. It is 210 feet long, 41 feet broad, and 40 feet high, and is very elegantly and suitably fitted up. At its farther end, in the eastern pavilion, is a fine apartment 52 feet long, 26 wide, and 22 high, containing the Fagel library, purchased at an expence of £8000, and comprising upwards of 17,000 volumes. This library was the property of Mr Fagel, Pensionary of Holland, who had it removed to London on the French invasion of Holland in 1794; the purchase money was a grant to the College from the Governors of Sir Erasmus Smith’s schools. The total number of volumes now in the entire building, including the Fagel library, and 1419 volumes of manuscripts, is 89,455.[2] The manuscripts are in Greek, Latin, English, Irish, Hebrew, Arabic, Persian, and other languages. Many of them relate to Irish history and antiquities, particularly to the troubles of 1641, all the depositions relating to which are here; as also the particulars of the settlement of Ireland and plantation of it by James I. There are many Latin manuscripts of the sacred scriptures, particularly of the New Testament, of various ages and remote antiquity. Several are in the Irish character but Latin language. There is also the Greek manuscript of the New Testament that belonged to Montfortius, and is the only one extant that reads the once contested verse, 1 Ep. John, ch. 5, v. 7. There are old translations of the Bible by Wickliffe, Pervie, Ambrose, Ussher, &c. There is no fund for the augmentation of the library except what the Board may please to allot for the purpose; but it receives a great annual increase by being entitled to one copy of every work entered at Stationers’ Hall.

Our library and the Bodleian at Oxford are exactly of the same age; and it is another curious fact, that while Ussher was laying out the soldiers’ money in London to the best advantage, he met there Sir T. Bodley engaged in a similar business for his establishment at Oxford. If there were auction rooms in those days, we have no doubt the two gentlemen were acceptable visitors, heartily welcome to the auctioneers, and that they seldom let a good thing go without a smart competition.

With regard to Marsh’s Library, we may mention that it was founded in 1707 by Doctor Narcissus Marsh, then Archbishop of Dublin, and that the building is erected on part of the ground attached to what was formerly the archbishop’s palace. The books were originally the collection of the celebrated Bishop Stillingfleet, and were purchased by Doctor Marsh for the public use. Once upon a time each book was fastened by a chain to an iron rod which ran along the shelves, so that all who partook of the bounty of the good archbishop might read and satisfy their souls without any danger of violating the eighth commandment; but this stringent system is now abolished: the chains are broken; the prisoners are free; the books are emancipated! The change may be considered as a compliment to the honesty of modern times; and all we say is, we wish they may deserve it. Much as we admire and commend these great public institutions, however, it is not to be denied that their real amount of utility is limited enough—limited at least when one compares the end with the means. Many thousand volumes must lie on their shelves from year to year, without ever being opened; there must be many that are fit only for burning, and that just occupy good room to the exclusion of their betters; and as to the very best books, how limited must the access to them necessarily be in a great public room! Their use consists chiefly in their being available for consultation—a most important purpose, no doubt, but yet one the accomplishment of which still leaves a vast hiatus in our reading hours to be filled up by other means. Now, every individual, we humbly think, should have a library of his own, if it were ever so small. No man ever made a good gardener that had not a small garden, his own property, to begin with; and it is something the same with a good reader. The careful, and leisurely, and repeated study of a few good books, does one more real good than a cursory and indigestive perusal of a vast number. This is well known; and, therefore, without detracting from the just value of public libraries, we would wish that a taste for book-collecting, as[Pg 342] well as book-reading, were widely diffused among us. Take our word for it, there is no better company than good books; you may choose from among them companions for all hours, and for all moods of the mind. Ask them questions, and they will be sure at all times to give you at least a civil answer. They are finger-posts to the travelling man, and travel through all regions to him who never moves from the chimney corner. They are implements of trade to the professional man, and a profession itself to him that has none. They are music to the melancholy, and as a dance to the merry; as salt are they to the solid, and to the solid as salt. They are as a new world to him that has exhausted the old, for “of making many books,” as the preacher saith, “there is no end.” But we must come to an end ourselves. We would, in short, advocate the claims of literature in general, and its high title to consideration, as it commends itself to all men in common; and we plead guilty to the ambition of adding to the numerous honourable characteristics of our countrymen, that of being in an eminent degree a reading people. Irishmen ought to remember that their country was famous in ancient days for its learning, and cherish an honest ambition in modern times to retrieve its character. As one means of forwarding this object, we would seek to diffuse among them a reading habit, and give our best encouragement to whatever instrumentalities might tend to increase libraries, and make reading easy to all classes. Cheap literature is a luxury of sterling value; but until people have acquired a taste for it, they will hold it cheap enough. Never do we pass a book-shop, or an humble bookseller’s stall, without a feeling of reverence for the profession. There, say we, is a dispensary of ideal aliment indispensable to our mental existence, and, if properly used, yielding nothing but health, prosperity, and enjoyment to the soul. If our countrymen read, they will become informed—learned; and if they read good books, they must not only become informed and learned, but wise. The vivacity of their conversation will then be enriched with all the streams both of useful and entertaining knowledge. Reading will be a delightful resource to the working man, and no bad employment at least to the idle. Poverty will have its compensations. There will be another distinction set up in society besides that of having, or not having, mere worldly professions. The dignity of mind will be asserted. Mind with its congenial influences must act upon manners; and if, as the inscription upon the old gate at Oxford beareth record, “manours maketh ye man,” our country will be once more exalted among the nations.

X. D.

[1] The first stone of Trinity College was laid on the 13th March 1591, by Thomas Smith, Mayor; it was opened two years afterwards, in 1593.

[2] This return is given from the most recent calculation officially made, and may be depended on.


BY J. U. U.

I stood and saw the pictured gloom unfold
Grey Santa Croce, crossed by dusky rays
That dimmed its columned aisle; as from of old
Its ancient air lay slumbering o’er the cold
Dark dwellers underneath. When to my gaze,
Shade-like, ’mid that grey gloom of distant day.
She stood, whom Petrarch looked on there and caught
That love too strong for death! A tender gleam
Like moonlight fell around her, baffling thought;
Strange! ’twas remembrance thither stole, and brought
That smile of sweetness from my breast’s deep stream
More strong than fancy, and transformed the dream
To thee—from her, whom a less hallowed fire
Hath made immortal with the love-devoted lyre.

Sensible Advice.—Avoid condolence with those who are mourning the loss of friends. Condolences, as well as mournings, are bad things. Men, and more especially women, give actual increase to their grief while, under the notion of duty, and even of merit, they make display of it. If mournings were altogether out of use, a vast mass of suffering would be prevented from coming into existence. Some savage or barbarous nations make merry at funerals: they are wiser, in this respect, than polished ones.—Bowring’s Deontology.

When a native of Java has a child born, he immediately plants a cocoa-tree, which, adding a circle every year to its bark, indicates the age of the tree, and therefore the age of the child. The child, in consequence, regards the tree with affection all the rest of its life.—Buck’s Harmonies, &c., of Nature.


The Thugs were known in the time of the Emperor Akbar of Delhi, by whom many were executed. They were first known to the British government in 1812, and then many were hanged in Bundelkund. Again, in 1817, they attracted notice by their horrible acts, and twelve villages in Bundelkund, which were peopled almost entirely by them, were taken by a force sent against them. They were then dispersed, but assembled in various parts in Sindhia’s and the Nagpoor country, also in Holkar’s dominions. From 1817 till 1831 they were not molested, and, in consequence, increased greatly in the latter year. Measures were taken to suppress them, which have been attended with great success. One hundred and eleven were executed at Jubbulpoor, and upwards of four hundred transported for life to the eastern settlement of Pinang.

The Thugs form a perfectly distinct class of persons, who subsist almost entirely upon the produce of the murders they are in the habit of committing. They appear to have derived their denomination from the practice usually adopted by them of decoying the persons they fix upon to destroy, to join their party; and then, taking advantage of the confidence they endeavour to inspire, to strangle their unsuspecting victims. There are several peculiarities in the habits of the Thugs, in their mode of causing death, and in the precautions they adopt for the prevention of discovery, that distinguish them from every other class of delinquents; and it may be considered a general rule whereby to judge of them, that they affect to disclaim the practice of petty theft, housebreaking, and indeed every species of stealing that has not been preceded by the perpetration of murder.

The Thugs adopt no other method of killing but strangulation, and the implement made use of for this purpose is a handkerchief, or any other convenient strip of cloth. The manner in which the deed is done will be described hereafter. They never attempt to rob a traveller until they have in the first instance deprived him of life; after the commission of a murder, they invariably bury the body immediately, if time and opportunity serve, or otherwise conceal it; and never leave a corpse uninterred in the highway, unless they happen to be disturbed.

To trace the origin of this practice would now be a matter of some difficulty, for if the assertions of the Thugs themselves are entitled to any credit, it has been in vogue from time immemorial; and they pretend that its institution is coeval with the creation of the world. Like most other inhuman practices, the traditions regarding it are mixed up with tales of Hindoo superstition; and the Thugs would wish to make it appear, that, in immolating the numberless victims that yearly fall by their hands, they are only obeying the injunctions of the deity of their worship, to whom they say they are offering an acceptable sacrifice.

A very considerable number of the Thugs are Mussulmans. No judgment of the birth or caste of a Thug can, however, be formed from his name; for it not unfrequently happens that a Hindoo Thug has a Mussulman name with a Hindoo alias attached, and vice versa with respect to the Thugs who are by birth Mahommedans. In almost every instance the Thugs have more than one appellation by which they are known. They usually move in large parties, often amounting to one hundred or two hundred persons, and resort to all sort of subterfuges for the purpose of concealing their real profession. If they are travelling southward, they represent themselves to be either proceeding in quest of service, or on their way to rejoin the regiments they belong to in this part of the country. When, on the contrary, their route lies towards the north, they represent themselves to be sepoys from corps of the Bombay or Nizam’s army, who are going on leave to Hindustan. The gangs do not always consist of persons who are Thugs by birth. It is customary for them to entice, by the promise of monthly pay or the hopes of amassing money that are held out, many persons who are ignorant of the deeds of death that are to be perpetrated for the attainment of these objects, until made aware of the reality by seeing the victims of their cupidity fall under the hands of the stranglers; and the Thugs declare that novices have occasionally been so horrified at the sight as to have effected their immediate escape.

Many of the most notorious Thugs are the adopted children of others of the same class. They make it a rule, when a murder is committed, never to spare the life of any one,[Pg 343] either male or female, who is old enough to remember and relate the particulars of the deed. But in the event of their meeting with children of such a tender age as to make it impossible they should be enabled to relate the fact, they generally spare their lives, and, adopting them, bring them up to the trade of Thugs. These men of course eventually become acquainted with the fact of the murder of their fathers and mothers by the very persons with whom they have dwelt since their childhood, but are still not deterred from following the same dreadful trade. It might be supposed that a class of persons whose hearts must be effectually hardened against all the better feelings of humanity, would encounter few scruples of conscience in the commission of the horrid deeds whereby they subsist; but, in point of fact, they are as much the slaves of superstition, and as much directed by the observance of omens in the commission of murder, as the most inoffensive of the natives of India are in the ordinary affairs of their lives.

In the event of an expedition proving more than ordinarily successful, a pilgrimage is usually made to Bhowanee, and a portion of the spoil taken by the gang is set aside for the purpose of being sent to the pagoda at Binda Chul, near Mirzapoor, as an offering to the goddess Kalee. Propitiatory offerings are also made, and various ceremonies performed, should the Thugs have failed in obtaining any plunder for a length of time.

In every gang of Thugs are to be found one or more officers, who appear to hold that rank not by the choice of their followers, but in consequence of their wealth and influence in their respective villages, and having assembled their immediate followers in the vicinity of their homes. The profits of an officer are of course greater than those of his followers; he receives six and a half or seven per cent. on all silver coin and other property, and then shares in the remainder in common with the other Thugs of the party. When gold is obtained in coin or in mass, the tenth part is taken by the officer, previous to dividing it; and he has a tithe of all pearls, shawls, gold embroidered cloths, brass and copper pots, horses, &c. Next to the officer, the most important person is the bhuttoat, or strangler, who carries the handkerchief with which the Thugs usually murder their victims. This implement is merely a piece of fine strong cotton cloth, about a yard long; at one end a knot is tied, and the cloth is slightly twisted, and kept ready for use in front of the waistcoat of the person carrying it. There is no doubt but that all Thugs are expert in the use of the handkerchief; but if they are to be believed, only particular persons are called upon or permitted to perform this office. When a large gang is collected, the most able-bodied and alert of their number are fixed upon as stranglers, and they are made the bearers of the handkerchief only after the performance of various and often expensive ceremonies, and only on the observance of a favourable omen. The junior Thugs make a merit of attending upon the older and more experienced Thugs, shampooing their bodies, and performing the most menial offices. They gradually become initiated into all the mysteries of the art, and if they prove to be powerful men, these promising disciples are made stranglers. When a murder is to be committed, the strangler usually follows the particular person whom he has been nominated by the jemadar to strangle; and on the preconcerted signal being given, the handkerchief is seized with the knot in the left hand, the right hand being about nine inches farther up, in which manner it is thrown over the head of the person to be strangled from behind; the two hands are crossed as the victim falls; and such is the certainty with which the deed is done, as the Thugs frequently declare, that before the body falls to the ground, the eyes start out of the head, and life becomes extinct. Should the person to be strangled prove a powerful man, or the strangler inexpert, another Thug lays hold of the end of the handkerchief, and the work is completed. The perfection of the act is said to be, when several persons are simultaneously murdered without any of them having time to utter a cry, or to be aware of the fate of their comrades.

Favourable opportunities are given for stranglers to make their first essay in the art of strangling. When a single traveller is met with, a novice is instructed to make a trial of his skill; the party sets off during the night, and stops while it is still dark to drink water or to smoke. While seated for the purpose, the jemadar inquires what time of the night it may be, and the Thugs look up at the stars to ascertain. This being the preconcerted signal, the strangler is immediately on the alert, and the unsuspecting traveller, on looking up at the heavens in common with the rest of the party, offers his neck to the ready handkerchief, and becomes an easy prey to his murderer. The strangler receives half a rupee extra for every murder that is committed, and if the plunder is great, some article of value is assigned to him over and above his share.

One of the most necessary persons to a gang of Thugs is he who goes by the name of Tillaee, or spy. The Thugs do not always depend upon chance for obtaining plunder, or roam about in the expectation of meeting travellers, but frequently take up their quarters in or near a large town, or some great thoroughfare, from whence they make expeditions, according to the information obtained by the spies. These men are chosen from among the most smooth-spoken and intelligent of their number, and their chief duty is to gain information. For this purpose they are decked out in the garb of respectable persons, whose appearance and manners they must have the art of assuming. They frequent the bazaars of the town near which their associates are encamped, and endeavour to pick up intelligence of the intended dispatch or expected arrival of goods or treasure, of which information is forthwith given to the gang, who send out a party to intercept them. Inquiry is also made for any party of travellers who may have arrived, and who put up in the inns, or elsewhere. Every art is brought into practice to scrape an acquaintance with these people. They are given to understand that the spy is travelling the same road. An opportunity is taken to throw out hints regarding the unsafeness of the roads, and the frequency of murders and robberies; an acquaintance with some of the friends or relatives of the travellers is feigned, and an invitation from them to partake of the repast that has been prepared where the spy has put up—the conveniences of which, and the superiority of the water, are abundantly praised. The result is, that the travellers are inveigled into joining the gang of Thugs, and they are feasted and treated with every politeness and consideration by the very wretches who are at the time plotting their murder, and calculating the share they shall acquire in the division of their property.

Instances sometimes occur where a party of Thugs find their victims too numerous for them while they remain in a body, and they are seldom at a loss for expedients to create dissensions, and a consequent division among them. If all their arts of intrigue and cajolery fail in producing the desired effect, an occasion is taken advantage of to ply the travellers with intoxicating liquors; a quarrel is got up, and from words they proceed to blows, which end in the dissension of the company, who, proceeding by different roads, fall an easier prey to their remorseless destroyers. Having enticed the travellers into the snare they have laid for them, the next object is to choose a convenient spot for their murder. This, in their technical language, is called a bhil, and is usually fixed upon at some distance from a village on the banks of a small stream, where the trees and underwood afford a shelter from the view of occasional passengers. The Thug who is sent on this duty is called a bhilla; and having fixed on the place, he either returns to the encampment of his party, or meets them on the way to report the result of his inquiry. If the bhilla returns to the camp with his report, the grave-diggers are sent out with him to prepare a grave for the interment of the persons it is intended to murder. Arrangements are previously made, so that the party in company with the travellers shall not arrive at the bhil too soon. At the particular spot agreed on, the bhilla meets the party. The jemadar calls out to him, “Have you cleared out the hole?” The bhilla replies, “Yes,” on which the concerted signal is given that serves as the death-warrant of the unsuspecting travellers, who are forthwith strangled.

The division of plunder, as may be supposed, often leads to the most violent disputes, which it is astonishing do not end in bloodshed. But it might almost be supposed the Thugs have a prejudice against spilling blood; for, when pursued, they refrain from making use of the weapons they usually bear, even in defence of their own persons. The most wanton prodigality occurs when plunder is divided; and occasionally the most valuable shawls and brocades are torn into small strips, and distributed amongst the gang, should any difference of opinion arise as to their appropriation. The Thugs say this is also done that every person may run the same risk, for such an article could not be shared among them until converted into money, and some danger is attendant upon the transaction. They appear invariably to destroy all bills of exchange that fall into their hands, as well as many other[Pg 344] articles that are likely to lead to detection. Ready money is what they chiefly look for; and when they have a choice of victims, the possessors of gold and silver would certainly be fixed upon in preference to others.

To facilitate their plan of operations, the Thugs have established a regular system of intelligence and communication throughout the countries they have been in the practice of frequenting, and they become acquainted, with astonishing celerity, with proceedings of their comrades in all directions. They omit no opportunity of making inquiries regarding the progress of other gangs, and are equally particular in supplying the requisite information of their own movements. For this purpose they have connected themselves with several persons of note residing in the Nizam’s dominions, who follow the profession of Thugs in conjunction with their agricultural pursuits.

Such is the extent to which this dreadful system has been carried, that no idea can be formed of the expenditure of human life to which it has given occasion, or the immensity of the wealth that has been acquired by its adoption. When it is taken into consideration that many of the Thugs confess to their having, for the last twenty-five or thirty years, annually made a tour with parties of more than a hundred men, and with no other object than that of murder and rapine; that they boast of having successively put their tens and twenties to death daily; and that they say an enumeration of all the lives they have personally assisted to destroy would swell the catalogue to hundreds, and, as some declare, to thousands—some conception of the horrid reality may be formed; of the amount of the property that they have yearly made away with, it must be impossible to form any calculation; for, independent of the thousands in ready money, jewels and bullion, the loads of valuable cloths, and every description of merchandise, that continually fall into their hands, the bills of exchange that they invariably destroy must amount to a considerable sum.

The impunity with which the Thugs have heretofore carried on their merciless proceedings, the facility they have possessed of recruiting their numbers—which are restricted to no particular caste or sect—the security they have had of escaping detection, and the ease with which they have usually purchased their release when seized by the officers of the weak native governments in whose dominions they have usually committed their greatest depredations, have altogether so tended to confirm the system, and to disseminate it to the fearful extent to which it has now attained, that the life of no single traveller on any of the roads in the country has been safe, and but a slight chance has been afforded to large parties of escaping the fangs of the blood-thirsty demons who have frequented them.—Abridged from the New Monthly Magazine.

Love and Poetry.—“You know,” says Burns, “our country custom of coupling a man and woman together as partners in the labours of harvest. In my fifteenth autumn my partner was a bewitching creature, a year younger than myself. My scarcity of English denies me the power of doing her justice in that language; she was a bonnie, sweet, sonsie lass. In short, she altogether, unwittingly to herself, initiated me in that delicious passion, which, in spite of acid disappointment, gin-horse prudence, and book-worm philosophy, I hold to be the first of human joys, our sweetest blessing here below. How she caught the contagion I cannot tell; you medical people talk much of infection from breathing the same air, the touch, &c., but I never expressly said I loved her. Indeed, I did not know myself why I liked so much to loiter behind with her, when returning in the evening from our labours; why the tones of her voice made my heart-strings thrill like an Æolian harp; and particularly why my pulse beat such a furious ratan when I looked and fingered over her little hand, to pick out the cruel nettle-stings and thistles. Among her other love-inspiring qualities she sang sweetly; and it was her favourite reel to which I attempted giving an embodied vehicle in rhyme. I was not so presumptuous as to imagine that I could make verses like printed ones, composed by men who had Greek and Latin; but my girl sang a song which was said to be composed by a small country laird’s son, on one of his father’s maids with whom he was in love; and I saw no reason why I might not rhyme as well as he; for, excepting that he could smear sheep, and cast peats, his father living on the moorlands, he had no more scholarcraft than myself. Thus with me began Love and Poetry.”—Burns in a Letter to Dr Moore, 1787.

Phenomena of Sound.—In the Arctic regions persons can converse at more than a mile distant when the thermometer is below zero. In air, sound travels from 1130 to 1142 feet per second. In water, sound passes at the rate of 4708 feet per second. Sound travels in air, about 900 feet for every pulsation of a healthy person at 75 in a minute. A bell sounded under water may be heard under water at 1200 feet distant. Sounds are distinct at twice the distance on water that they are on land. In a balloon, the barking of dogs on the ground may be heard at an elevation of three or four miles. On Table Mountain, a mile above Cape Town, every noise in it, and even words, may be heard distinctly. The fire of the English on landing in Egypt was distinctly heard 130 miles on the sea. Dr Jameson says, in calm weather he heard every word of a sermon at the distance of two miles! Water is a better conductor of sound than air. Wood is also a powerful conductor of sound, and so is flannel or riband. Sound affects particles of dust in a sunbeam, cobwebs, and water in musical glasses; it shakes small pieces of paper off a string in concord. Deaf persons may converse through deal rods held between the teeth, or held to the throat or breast. Echoes are formed by elliptical surfaces combined with surrounding surfaces, or by such of them as fall into the respective distances of the surface of an ellipse, and are, therefore, directed to the other focus of the ellipse; for all the distances from both foci to such surface are equal, and hence there is a concentration of sounds at those points direct from one focus, and reflected back again from the other focus. An echo returns a monosyllable at 70 feet distance, and another syllable at every 40 feet additional. The echo of artillery is encreased or created by a cloud or clouds. Miners distinguish the substance bored by the sound; and Physicians distinguish the action of the heart or lungs by a listening tube. Gamblers can distinguish, in tossing money, which side is undermost, though covered by the hand.

General Run of Faculties.—Society is a more level surface than we imagine. Wise men or absolute fools are hard to be met with, as there are few giants or dwarfs. The heaviest charge we can bring against the general texture of society is, that it is common-place; and many of those who are singular had better be common-place. Our fancied superiority to others is in some one thing, which we think most of, because we excel in it, or have paid most attention to it; whilst we overlook their superiority to us in something else, which they set equal and exclusive store by. This is fortunate for all parties. I never felt myself superior to any one who did not go out of his way to affect qualities which he had not. In his own individual character and line of pursuit every one has knowledge, experience, and skill; and who shall say which pursuit requires most, thereby proving his own narrowness and incompetence to decide? Particular talent or genius does not imply general capacity. Those who are more versatile are seldom great in any one department; and the stupidest people can generally do something. The highest pre-eminence in any one study commonly arises from the concentration of the attention and faculties on that one study. He who expects from a great name in politics, in philosophy, in art, equal greatness in other things, is little versed in human nature. Our strength lies in our weakness. The learned in books are ignorant of the world. He who is ignorant of books is often well acquainted with other things; for life is of the same length in the learned and the unlearned; the mind cannot be idle; if it is not taken up with one thing it attends to another through choice or necessity: and the degree of previous capacity in one class or another is a mere lottery.—Hazlitt’s Characteristics.

Truth.—The confusion and undesigned inaccuracy so often to be observed in conversation, especially in that of uneducated persons, proves that truth needs to be cultivated as a talent, as well as recommended as a virtue.—Mrs Fry.

Knowledge is an excellent drug, but no drug has virtue enough to preserve itself from corruption and decay, if the vessel be tainted and impure wherein it is put to keep.—Montaigne’s Essays.

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