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of religion, but goe to bed to their rest, to rise betime steames, so contrarywise there are noxious ones, which the next morning to their labour.'
proceed from some minerales, iron, &c. which also, as This, it must be confessed, is singular philosophy; in the others, appear in a circular form.' The phenomenon another sentence we are told that the eyes of the people of fairy rings was explained by the celebrated Wollaston of Norfolk decay very speedily, in consequence of the forty years ago: he shows it to be caused by the decay dryness of the air, while on the adjoining page is the and annual growth of certain species of fungi. truly rational remark—'I have oftentimes wished for a A curious botanical fact is recorded. The spring mappe of England, coloured according to the colours of after the conflagration at London, all the ruines were the earth, with markes of the fossiles and minerals,' overgrown with an herbe or two, but especially one which may be regarded as one of the earliest hints at with a yellow flower; and on the south side of St Paul's what are now common-geological maps. Aubrey then Church it grew as thick as could be; nay, on the very goes on to speak of the damage done by Oliver's wind;' top of the tower. The herbalists call it Ericoleirs Neathe hurricane commonly reported to have blown at the politana-small bank cresses of Naples.' This plant, it time of Cromwell's death, but which Thomas Carlyle appears, had never before been seen about London, shows was four days earlier. He describes echoes and except near Battle Bridge. The next may be set down sounds as moving in spheres similar to the circles pro- among feats of the marvellous— Edmund Wyld, Esq., duced from the fall of a stone into water; and relates R.S.S., hath had a pott of composition in his garden of a petrifying rivulet near Devizes, that it seems to these seven yeares, that beares nothing at all, not so prove that stones grow not by apposition only, as the much as grasse or mosse. He makes his challenge, if Aristotelians assert, but by susception also; for if the any man will give him xxli. he will give him an hunstick did not suscept some vertue by which it is trans- dred if it doth not beare wheate spontaneously; and the muted, we may admire what doth become of the matter party shall keep the key, and he shall sift the earthof the stick.' Then we read— My Lady Coeks of Dum composition through a fine sieve, so that he may be bleton told me that ladies did send ten miles and more sure there are no graines of wheate in it. He hath also for water from a spring on Malyerne Hill, in Worcester- a composition for pease; but that he will not warrant, shire, to wash their faces, and make 'em faire;' followed not having yet tryed it.' by thirty-two 'quaeres for the tryall of minerall waters,' We are informed, under the head 'minerals and fogamong which are—How much heavier 'tis than brandy? sils,' of the means resorted to by an eminent physician How it boyles dry pease? How blood lett whilest the for making aperient pills :- In the parish of Great waters are dranke lookes, and how it changes? In what Badminton, in a field called Twelve Acres, the hustime they putrefy and stink?'
bandmen doe oftentimes plough up and find iron bulIt seems to have been the practice at that time, as it letts as big as pistoll bulletts ; sometimes almost as big is now, to secure the presence of a great personage at as muskett bulletts. These bulletts are Dr Th. Wilthe commencement of any important undertaking. Thus lises aperitive pills: he putts a barre of iron into the we read— On Munday morning, the 20th September | smith's forge, and gives it a sparkling heat: then (1669), was begun a well-intended designe for cutting thrusts it against a roll of brimstone, and the barre will the river (Avon) below Salisbury, to make it navigable melt down into these bulletts ; of which he made his to carry boats of burthen to and from Christ Church. aperitive pills. In this region is a great deal of iron, This work was principally encouraged by the Right Re- and the Bath waters give sufficient evidence that there verend Father in God, Seth, Lord Bishop of Salisbury, | is store of sulphur; so that heretofore, when the earthhis lordship digging the first spitt of earth, and driving quakes were hereabouts, store of such bulletts must the first wheelebarrow. The tides of the Severn served necessarily be made and vomited up.' In the next paraas 'weather prognosticks' to the dwellers on the banks graph we read that the holly may be taken as an indiof the river:
cation of the presence of coal below the surface, as that • If it raineth when it doth flow,
tree delights in the effluvium of this fossill.' 'I doe Then yoke your oxe, and goe to plough;
believe that all chalke was once marle ; that is, that But if it raineth when it doth ebb,
chalke has undergone subterraneous bakings, and is Then unyoke your oxe, and goe to bed.'
become hard: e. g. as wee make tobacco-pipes. The In the chapter on ‘soiles,' we read that wet and millers in our country use to putt a black pebble under dirty lands, to poore people, who have not change of the pinne of the axis of the mill-wheele, to keep the shoes, the cold is very incommodious, which hurts their brasse underneath from wearing; and they doe find by nerves exceedingly. Salts, as the Lord Chancellor Bacon experience that nothing doth weare so long as that. sayes, do exert (irradiate) raies of cold. Elias Ashmole, The bakers take a certain pebble, which they put in the Esq. got a dangerous cold by sitting by the salt sacks vaulture of their oven, which they call the warning in a salter's shop, which was like to have cost him his stone ; for when that is white, the oven is hot. There life. And some salts will corrode papers, that were was a time when all pebbles were liquid. Wee find three or four inches from it. The same may be sayd of them all ovalish. How should this come to passe? As marble pavements, which have cost some great persons for salts, some shoot cubicall, some hexagonall. Why their lives. Edmund Waller, Esq. the poet, made a might there not be a time, when these pebbles were quaere, I remember, at the Royal Society, about 1666, making in embryone, for such a shooting as falls into whether Salisbury Plaines were always plaines ? In an ovalish figure ? Anno 1665, I desired Dr W. HarVirginia, the natives did burn down great woods, to vey to tell me how flints were generated. He sayd to cultivate the soil with maiz and potato-rootes, which me that the black of the flint is but a natural vitrificaplaines were there made by firing the woods to sowe tion of the chalke; and added that the medicine of the
They doe call these plaines savannas. Who flint is excellent for the stone, and I think he said for knowes but Salisbury Plaines, &c. might be made long the greene sicknesse; and that in some flints are found time ago, after this manner, and for the same reason ? stones in next degree to a diamond.' Here we see the
As to the greene circles on the downes, vulgarly great discoverer of the circulation of the blood, with all called faiery circles (dances), I presume they are gene- his philosophy, approving remedies for disease which rated from the breathing out of a fertile subterraneous the most ignorant would now not dream of. vapour. (The ringworm on a man's flesh is circular. In a subsequent chapter on plants, Aubrey, while reExcogitate a paralolisme between the cordial heat and lating that wild strawberries were plentiful in certain the subterranean heat to elucidate this phenomenon.) parts, says—I have heard Sir Christopher Wren affirm, Every tobacco-taker knowes that 'tis no strange thing that if one that has a wound in the head eates them, for a circle of smoke to be whiff’d out of the bowle of they are mortall. Methinks 'tis very strange;' and adds, the pipe; but 'tis donne by chance. If you dig under Quære, the learned of this ?' Then we are told that the turf of this circle, you will find at the rootes of the meadows producing yellow flowers are better than those grasse a hoare or mouldiness. But as there are fertile | which grow white flowers, as the latter . are produc't by
a cold hungry water;' and that 'tobacco is onely in breakes the modell of the engine all to pieces before gardens for medicine ; but in the neighbouring county their faces.' of Gloucester it is a great commodity.' In a memoran Under the head of agriculture are mentioned the first dum appended to this, the author says-Mr Michael watering of meadows, and manuring land with soap Weekes, of the custome- house, assures me that the ashes. The wages of a seedsman' were L.5 yearls, custom of tobacco is the greatest of all other, and and of a 'servant-maid’ from L.1, 103. to L.2. The fail amounts now (1688) to four hundred thousand pounds of rents was attributed to the decay of the Turky. per annum. At the present time, the tobacco duties trade ;' and it was debated whether it would not be produce about three and a half millions annually. The the better way to send our wooll beyond the sea again, cutting down of the forests seems to have caused much as in the time of the staple? For the Dutch and French popular discontent; on the destruction of Pewsham doe spin finer, work cheaper, and dye better.' Through Forest, by the Duke of Buckingham, the poor people' such darkness as that shown by our quotations bas made a rhyme
science and every branch of industry had to struggle to • When Chipnam stood in Pewsham's wood,
their present degree of perfection. While luoking back Before it was destroyed,
with a smile on the follies of our ancestors, we will do A cow might have gone for a groat a yeare
well to remember that for them the folly was wisdon, But now it is denied.'
and that our own knowledge may at some future day . The metre,' observes Aubrey, is lamentable, but appear equally deficient to our successors. the cry of the poor was more larmentable. I knew several that did remenaber the going of a cowe for 4d.
LABOURING SOCIETIES. per annum. The order was, how many they could winter they might summer; and pigges did cost no It is a mistake to suppose that labouring for a common thing the going. Now, the highwayes are encombred stock is a notion of modern times. It has been acted with cottages, and the travellers with the beggars that upon in many countries at various stages of history. dwell in them.' When describing reptiles and insects,' The North American Indians were found living under 3 the author gives the following as a remedy for the system of communityship, and in a perfect equality. The plague and other diseases :— Take twenty great fatt Caribbees of the West India islands, in like manner, toades : in May they are the best : putt them alive in a laboured the land in common, and drew each from pubpipkin, cover it, make a fire round it to the top, let lic granaries what he required. The institutions of this them stay on the fire till they make no noise,' &c.; and nature formed by the Jesuits in Paraguay, form one of says that it is recommended by Dr Thomas Willis. The the most singular chapters in history. The mass of the prejudice against rooks and crows is not a modern error. people, amounting to 300,000 families, were content to The parliament in James I.'s reign passed a bill autho- work under the care of their religious superiors, receiv. rising the destruction of the birds, on which Aubrey ing in return such supplies of necessaries as were deemed writes— I have heard knowing countreymen affirme, suitable to their deservings, while the aged and otherthat rooke-wormes which the crows and rooks doe de wise disabled were likewise handsomely provided for. vour at sowing time, doe turne to chafers, which I think This system lasted for several ages, and was only are our English locusts; and some yeares wee have such broken up by the intrusion of the Portuguese governfearful armies of them, that they devour all manner of ment. It appears that in India, Ceylon, and some other green things ; and if the crowes did not destroy these countries, such communityships existed in more or less wormes, it would oftentimes happen. Parliaments are perfect form in early ages. not infallible, and some think they were out in this Amidst all the changes of dynasties and governmental bill.'
systems which have taken place in Europe since the The aire' of Wiltshire was considered favourable to middle ages, there have survived certain patches (if we longevity; if, however, the following couplet were true, may so call them) of the working population, which held the morals of the people were questionable :
by old primitive arrangements of the nature of Commu* Salisbury Plain,
nityship. The accounts we have of them seem to lead Never without a thief or twain.'
the mind back into the very first forms of society. One That the reputation of cattle-dealers was as question- dwindled away into a mere speck. Once it comprehended
is found in the province of Nivernois, in France, though able when Aubrey wrote as it is said to have been in later years, we may infer from what is observed respect- land held as common property, under masters whora
a large district, where all the people worked together on ing one of their tricks. • Some cow-stealers,' he writes, * will make a hole in a hott lofe newly drawn out of the they elected. An old writer, speaking of them, says
• In these communities, the children are prized who cu oven, and putt it on an oxes horn for a convenient time, yet do nothing, from the expectation of what they will and then they can turn their softened hornes the con- perform in future ; those who are in vigour, for what trary way, so that the owner cannot swear to his own they do ; the old for their advice, and for the remenubeast.' Travelling to Stonehenge in that day must have family which keeps up the old system—one named
brance of what they have done.' Now there is but one been somewhat of an adventure. Among other' wea- Jault, said to number less than forty persons, but pos: ther prognosticks,' we have
sessing property worth L.8000 : they live amicably in • When the hen doth moult before the cock,
one house, having a large hall for meals, and separate
apartments for each married couple and their children, But if the cock moults before the hen,
after the manner of certain charitable foundations in The winter will not wet your shoes' seame.'
our own country. After this, there is an anecdote of Wren which The Gothic nations in ancient times had a system of deserves quotation. It ought never to be forgot,' common ownership, of which we are supposed to have a writes Aubrey, 'what our ingenious countreyman, Sir faint trace in England in the unenclosed commonsChristopher Wren, proposed to the silke - stocking may we add, in Scotland, in those pastures and hill bogs weavers of London, anno domini 16—; namely, a way which still belong as common property to the inhabito weave seven paire or nine paire of stockings at once tants of burghs? The system was developed in great (it must be an odd number). He demanded four hun- vigour in the province of Friesland, the most northerly dred pounds for his invention ; but the weavers refused district of Holland. There the land was divided into it because they were poor, and besides, they say it portions called theels, part of which were held by indiwould spoile their trade. Perhaps they did not consider viduals, part by the public. An individual's theel went the proverb, that “ Light gaines, with quick returnes, to his youngest son, or, failing sons, to his daughter
, make heavy purses." Sir Christopher was so noble, while the other sons were provided for out of the theels seeing they would not adventure so much money, he held in common. No head of a family could have more
The winter will be as hard as a rock;
than one, nor could he sell his theel. Whether as a bestowed by the cultivator would prove too costly to consequence of this mode of living or not, at least con the proprietor if obliged to pay for it; it would not temporaneously with it, the people exhibited a remark answer his purpose. It is always ruinous in the end to able spirit of independence, exempt from feudal and cultivate land in Tuscany by day-labourers : on the priestly domination, and possessing a house of parlia- other hand, were the labourer to be paid his wages in ment, while there was as yet no such thing in England. money, they would prove inadequate to his support. They held the emperor in no fear, and allowed of no Under the existing system, if his profits are small, they dignitaries among themselves. Their common greeting are direct, and in the shape of produce, his household to each other was, “ Health, thou noble freeman !' These wants are fully and completely supplied, and at no exmoral characteristics remind us much of those of the pense. It is not possible for the cultivators to make a North American Indians under a similar arrangement. rapid fortune, but the better class of them possess their It has been well remarked that the Frisons show how little capital of nioney. The marriage portions they little exclusive liberty is to the mountains ; for here she give their daughters are a proof of this: these are conflourished in alnjost unparalleled vigour among the fens siderable, and always increasing. It is true the landof the Netherlands.
lord frequently assists; and not only the head of the In France, but more in Italy, there is a system of family, but the other members also, both girls and farming known by the name of Metayer, or Mezzeria, boys, to whom they leave slight bequests by way of which is as yet little known amongst us, though ex- dowry, or who enter into small speculations, have all a ceedingly remarkable. It may be said to reign chiefly little stock of money laid by. It is, I consider, the in Tuscany. There it has survived the Roman domi- great and only advantage of Tuscan economy, that it nation and all subsequent vicissitudes, and is still insures the subsistence of a large number of labourers, almost the only plan of cultivation in use. Under this and insures this in a mode independent of men and arrangement, the owner of the soil provides the land, events, and free from the vicissitudes of commerce and houses, utensils, and seed, while the tenant contributes the uncertainties of trade or of ruinous changes. the labour. Out of the crop there is set aside a suffi • The labourer in general is happy and virtuous; the ciency for next year's seed, and for the support of the unvarying nature and quietude of his life, and the decultivators and their cattle; the remainder is divided pendence, free from all servility, in which he stands in between the proprietor and cultivator. The money relation to his employer, foster his habits of morality, arising from the sale of cattle is in like manner divided. whilst they maintain his dignity as a man. The With these benefits, and raising clothing for his family, peasantry is beyond dispute the best class in Tuscany, which they work up with their own hands, the metayer and all the good that is said, and has been said of the peasant possesses a degree of animal comfort such as is Tuscans, is due to the peasantry. A peasant who rarely matched, and perhaps nowhere exceeded, amongst should be reduced to work as a day-labourer would feel the labouring classes in the various countries of Europe. himself miserable and degraded; it would be a descent Though under no permanent engagement with the land from a high elevation in the social scale.' lord, they generally remain on the ground from gene America is said to contain upwards of a dozen soration to generation. The system, however, has its cieties who labour for a common good. They are mostly drawbacks. The cultivator, living in a home a part of German origin, and profess a religious basis for their from his neighbours, has little intercourse with them; union. The most noted community of the kind is that and accordingly, prejudices and ignorance mark the of the Rappites, which took its rise, rather more than tribe in an especial manner. In such a system of small forty years ago, in a German congregation which had farms, the benefits of science fail to be taken advantage emigrated under the care of their pastor, Mr Rapp, of. It has even the effect of limiting the local range of and which was first led to this mode of life by the text industry in a surprising manner; for the plains of Tus- in Acts iv. verse 32, as to the early believers having cany, though the most fertile portion of it, are, in com • all things in common.' The Rappites were first parison with the hills, in a state of neglect, merely settled in Pennsylvania ; they were miserably poor, because extensive combinations of labour are there and encountered great difficulties, particularly from necessary. Tending, moreover, to the procluction of their own ignorance. Their plan, however, prospered, nothing beyond what is required for local consumption, and in 1814 they sold their possessions for 100,000 it admits of no comforts which require the intervention dollars, and migrated to a place called Economy, on the of commerce.
Ohio, where they speedily acquired immense wealth, According to Dr Bowring— The erroneous self-suf- much more indeed than, with their habits, there is any ficing principle pervades everything, even to the extent occasion for. It appears that this body has been held that a single field should produce everything, that one together by the influence of their pastor, Rapp, who man should do everything: there is no such thing as contrived from the first to make them believe that they division of labour-no intermediate branch of occupa- are exalted above all the ordinary people of the world. tion. The same individual who has planted a vine, or Ignorant, puised up with self-conceit, and perhaps missown his field, must sell the final produce to the con led by the very success they have met with in the sumer ; the labour of the Tuscan proprietor is there- realisation of wealth, they submit to a whim of their fore so complicated, that it is impossible to get through superior, positively forbidding marriage. A restraint it. The result of all this is, that out of the gross pro- so contrary to nature, and not upheld by any strong duce, the net revenue to the Tuscan proprietor is most religious sanction, must of course be precarious, and it miserable. The gross produce in itself is large-very remains to be seen, now that Rapp is dead, whether the large in proportion to the natural productiveness of the society will long subsist in its present form. Meansoil; but it is small considered in relaticn to the ex while there is no reason to believe that the opulence is penses incurred, to the capital absorbed, and to the owing in any peculiar degree to their exemption from labour bestowed upon it. Regarding man as an instru- the charge of young families, for it appears that hosts ment of labour, our agriculture is costly in the extreme; of children under widowed mothers are quartered upon but under any other system, man would do less, and cost them. Miss Martineau reported, a few years ago, that
The cultivator is always on the spot-always what was vital in the Rappite system was dreadfully careful; his constant thought is, this field is my own incumbered with what was dead. · Their spiritual He works for his own advantage, not as a mercenary, pride,' she says, “their insane vanity, their intellectual nor as a slave or machine; his loss of time is the least torpor, their mental grossness, are melancholy to witpossible, as he has the distribution of his hours, and ness. Reading is discouraged among them. Their chooses his opportunities : while proceeding to his field, thoughts are full of the one subject of celibacy; with he pulls up the weeds, he gathers together the manure what effect, may be easily imagined. Their religious that may have fallen on the roads, which contributes exercises are disgustingly full of it. It cannot be otherto the increase of his dunghill; the amount of labour I wise; for they have no other interesting subject of
thought beyond their daily routine of business; no ob- so hard for a common as for an individual interest, seems jects in life, no wants, no hopes, no novelty of expe- to us greatly overstated. The actual history of labour. rience whatever. Their life is all dull work, and no ing societies shows no defect of this kind : even the play.'
Irish peasantry were transformed by Mr Vandeleur The Rappites, with all the faults of their system, into an active as well as peaceable community, when a have possessed one requisite of high importance-a com- group of them knew that they were working for themmunity of sentiment on religious and other dissociating selves as a body. The experiment in this case, as is questions. Diversity in these respects appears to have well known, failed from causes entirely apart from the been the main cause of the early dissolution of the so- question of work and the economy of its performance. ciety established by Mr Owen in Indiana. Where no Our present system is perhaps unmatchable for the prosuch blight occurs, communities established in countries duction and storing of wealth ; but no one can pretend not too far advanced in the possession or employment that the wellbeing of the great mass of the community of capital, seem to thrive, as far as the production of the advances in proportion. Its one great point of failure prime necessaries of life is concerned.* Within the last is in sustaining the spirit and morale of the labourer. thirteen years, the Oberlin Institute took its rise in the Its very interference for the succour of the helpless, is state of Ohio, in a band of forty young men, who with- of a nature that degrades while it relieves. In these drew from the Presbyterian College, Cincinnati, on ac- particulars, it does not seem favourable to the developcount of their strong feelings in behalf of the negroes. ment of the best parts of man's nature. It is also atResolving to found an institution where the blacks tended by a discontent not at all calculated to give zest should receive all the advantages of education, and be to the comforts of those in whom the wealth of the treated as the equals of the whites, they repaired to the country is centered. The whole circumstances being forest, and cleared ground by the work of their own considered, we certainly see no occasion to object to the hands. With scarcely any capital, they soon reared a trial of a system giving even the faintest promise of settlement in the wilderness, though of a very rough different results. kind. Persons of their own sentiments, and of both sexes, joined to make common cause with them for the negroes. When told there was no accommodation for
THE CHAMBER OF MYSTERY. them, they would answer, “We will provide for our | An architect of Vienna, having occasion to visit the selves, if you will let us stay.' When poverty was felt, country-house of a nobleman of that city, accepted the the members gave up the use of animal food-liquors hospitable invitation he received, and determined to rethey had never used. One would lend even his clothes main as a guest for several days. The first day was to another when it was necessary. Some, however, passed in business, and he retired to bed somewhat came with money, which they threw into the common exhausted, but his thoughts still occupied with the imstock. A farmer of their neighbourhood, touched by provements in the house that were contemplated. He !! their generous views and their sufferings, drove over a could see, however, that the room allotted to him was cow to them—the only gift he could bestow. Another handsome and commodious, though not large ; and at took in seventy of them as free boarders: his wife sank length he suffered his head to sink upon the pillow with under the heavy charge thus put upon her, but she died the sigh of satisfaction with which we take leave of without regret for the sacrifice she had made. Long the world for the night, since, the principal difficulties seem to have been overcome, and the institute comprehended a preparatory
. And draw around a wearied breast
The curtain of repose.' school, and a university of twenty-six professors, with four hundred pupils. The labour of all, for three hours But when he was just sinking to rest, an uneasy sensaa day, sufficed to give all a temperate and healthy tion, he knew not of what nature, stole over him. He maintenance—the young women attending to household persuaded himself that the air was close-that he perand dairy duties, and to the making and mending of ceived a faint smell; and he lay for some time considerclothes. After existing about four years, the possessions ing whether he was not suffering from fever. The of the society were estimated at 65,000 dollars.
question was speedily answered : for the bed began In our own country, attempts to establish co-operative to move. Presently it was near the window—so near, societies have not hitherto met, in any case, with as
that he could look out, could see the trees in the sured success, chiefly perhaps because of the difficulty of garden below, and could observe the outline of a sumapplying human energies in that variety of modes which mer-house, which had attracted his attention by its would put the system on an equal footing with the pre- classical proportions in the forenoon. He was of course vailing arrangements. A set of men of various profes- surprised, nay, terrified ; but when he stretched towards sions and trades go to settle upon and work a piece of the window in order to ascertain that all was real, the land, and live both industriously and frugally; but the scene grew dimmer and dimmer, and at length disapindividuals soon discover that they do not realise so peared. And no wonder: for the bed was receding to much as by salaries or wages in the usual way. Their its old position--and did not stop there. He was preprojects accordingly fall to the ground. It is different sently at the door. He might have touched the panels in America, where the contrast is only between the in- with his hand. He felt his breath come back, and the dividual or the society setting to the clearance and air grow more confined. He would have got up to ring cropping of land, and where the local isolation must for assistance, but persuaded himself that he was too also be favourable to the keeping up of a united spirit. weak, and would fall down before reaching the bell. How far it is possible to make even the most partial The bed again moved; and this time it took up its changes from the one system to the other, in a country position in the very middle of the fireplace. This was where all old arrangements are so inveterately fixed the sheer frenzy of fever, for the fireplace was of and rooted as in ours, we shall not take it upon us to course not a fourth part of the size of the bed itself. pronounce; but we think the question an interesting Yet he saw distinctly the walls of the chimney surone, and believe it would be satisfactory to many well-rounding him; and he even felt that one of the feet of meaning persons to see it fairly subjected to the test of the bed rested upon a dog-iron, so as to disturb its experiment. On the other hand, we are far from be- level. But he had no time for more minute observalieving that human nature is such as only to be excit- tion; for presently the bed emerging from the chimney, able to exertion by the rewards of the individual self- began to rise with slow undulations towards the roof; hood. The common objection, that men will not labour and there it continued to swing, as he imagined, for
hours together, till his alarm sank gradually into lassi* See An Outline of the Various Social Systems and Commu- tude, and he fell into a deep though short and tirenities which have been founded on the principle of Co-operation, freshing slumber. London: Longman and Co.
The next morning the visitor appeared at the break
fast table, pale, wearied, and dispirited. He was not was haunted, and the architect ascended to the external well. What was the matter? What could be done roof of the house. for him ? 'Nothing,' he replied to all their interro Here he found that the apartment in question was gatories. He had not slept; but the air would revive covered by a massive work of tiles, wood, and lime, so him. He would take healthful exercise during the day, as to leave a small garret, into which there was no and that would be better than medicine. It turned out opening either by door or window. This, in its connecas he expected. He recovered his spirits ; he was de- tion with the other circumstances we have described, lighted with his hosts, and they with him; and he was proved to be the solution of the mystery; for the thankful that he had been prevented by shame from mephytic gas engendered in the garret, penetrating mentioning the absurd fancies by which he had been through the mouldy woodwork of the antique ceiling, beset during the night. At the usual hour he retired into a place whence it found no egress, and where it again to bed, comfortable in mind and body, but feeling could mingle only with foul air, was in reality the nocthe want of sleep, and looking forward gratefully, by turnal spectre which haunted the room. The effect of anticipation, to at least eight hours of sound repose. this gas upon the brain, in exciting a temporary deli
He did not enjoy one. The same fever, the same rium, is well known; and in the present instance, the fancies, the same inexplicable niovements of the bed – result of what was done to remedy the evil left no doubt. these were his portion during the night; and in the The door and window were opened, the chimney was morning the same dead eyes, the same colourless cheeks, cleared, and two openings were made in the roof. During the same listless attitudes, betrayed to his sympathising the last-mentioned operation, it is worthy of note that friends that he had passed another wakeful and wretched when the tools of the workmen penetrated for the first night. But he still preserved silence as to the details. time into the garret, the mephytic vapour which esHe was thoroughly ashamed of his absurdity. The caped had such an effect upon one of them, that he impressions of the first night had doubtless remained to must have fallen from the roof had he not been caught scare him on the second. He had gone to bed thinking hold of by his comrades. After the alterations were of his former sufferings, and they had been renewed in made, the architect retired to bed for the fourth time, his imagination. In this way he accounted for the and enjoyed an excellent sleep, together with a great continued illusions that had perplexed him; and he de- part of the arrears of the three preceding nights. From termined, at a third trial, to grapple with them man- that moment the room lost its reputation as a Chamber fully, and compel repose by the aid of reason.
of Mystery. All was unavailing ; and on the third morning his entertainer, alarmed by his ghastly looks, determined to bring him to explanation.
CONVERSATION ON ASTRONOMY. * You can no longer conceal it,' said he ; 'you have We have perused with much pleasure a newspaper account found something disagreeable in the room ; and I re of a conversation on the past and present state of astroproach myself with having allowed you to be put into nomical science, which took place a few weeks ago at the an apartment which certainly bears a bad name in the Royal Manchester Institution. Mr P. Clare was in the house.'
chair, and commenced with the following observations:• What do you mean by a bad name?' asked the selected for their consideration that evening a branch of
It was satisfactory, said he, that the committee had guest. “I mean that it is famous for its sleepless lodgers, | any other the wisdom, omnipotence, and glory of the
the science which pointed out more prominently than for its waking dreams—and worse than that. There is Deity. Although there was no science more perfectly not a servant in the house who would enter it alone understood than astronomy, yet there was none that conafter nightfall for a year's wages.'
templated bodies more in number, larger in magnitude, or • That is all very well for the servants; but I know at greater distances from us. It did not enter so much you laugh at these ignorant fancies; and you know me into a consideration of the properties or nature of the too well to suppose that I would treat them otherwise bodies which constituted the great machine of the unithan with pity and contempt. Tell me at once what verse, as it was an inquiry into that delightful harmony you believe: but first listen to a narrative of my adven- by which all created bodies were preserved in their right tures ;' and the guest related to his host at full length places, and kept therein with so much order and reguthe story of his three ill-omened nights.
larity. It had from a very early period of time engaged
the attention of the most learned and talented men of *I cannot tell you what I believe,' replied the latter, all countries, and been cultivated with a zeal and perafter musing for some time; 'for, in point of fact, I do
severance to which it was eminently entitled. Having not know what to believe ; but your experience tallies briefly sketched the history of this science from the earstrangely with what I have heard on the subject before liest period to the current century, the chairman observed from more than one of my friends. I am more per- that it had taken a period of nearly four thousand years plexed than ever.' It was agreed, however, on the pro- for the science of astronomy to arrive at its present state ; posal of the architect, that a minute examination of the but we might hope, that with the assistance of such premises should immediately take place, and the whole very accurate instruments as were now made, the farther family proceeded in a body to the chamber of mystery. progress of this science would be more rapid; and it was
The first thing that struck the examiner was, that encouraging to reflect, that by the assistance of telethe chimney was choked up with rubbish, so that no
scopes of highly-magnifying power, adapted to instruments current of air could take place through a channel on veries had been made within the present century. Indeed,
divided with great accuracy, many very important discowhich so much depends. Proceeding to the window, he within the compass of last year, not only was another found it heavy and massive, and so completely bedded, small planet discovered, which has been called Astræa, but that no force could raise it. It appeared, on inquiry, a large one, called Neptune, which might at present be that this was its original defect; that the servants had said to be the ontermost of the solar system, revolving at at length given up all attempts to move it; and that a distance of thirty millions of miles from the sun. To the woodwork had swollen so much, through the effects these might be added two other small planets discovered of damp, that the whole window, so far as the access of this year--one named Isis, and the other Hebe-belonging
But one of the greatest the external air was concerned, was merely a prolon- to the same group with Astræa. gation of the wall. The door was in like manner found triumphs of astronomical research within the present to be singularly heavy and close-fitting; and in addi-century was the discovery, by the late Professor Bessel, tion, it was constructed so as to shut spontaneously the of the star 61 Cygni, and the no less important disco
the distinguished Prussian astronomer, of the parallax moment the person who entered removed his hand. very, by our late most excellent and laborious astronomer, In fact, the room, however elegant in appearance and Mr Thomas Henderson, of the parallax of Centauri, bý furniture, was contrived throughout in the most ela- which discoveries it has been ascertained that the nearest borate manner, so as to be as unwholesome as possible. of the fixed stars cannot be at a less distance than Still this did not account for the illusions with which it | 20,000,000,000,000 of miles.