Зображення сторінки

Notices of Time's Telescope for 1815. "We never met with a compilation better calculated for the use of families, and to serve as a portable companion for young persons, than this elegant little volume, which abounds with valuable information on subjects of geveral interest, and with a pleasing variety of rational entertainment. The book is written in a popular style, the articles are selected with great judgment from the best authorities; and while the scientific illustrations tend to quicken curiosity, the reflections interspersed with the extracts, occasionally given from the most charming of our poets, will increase the delight afforded by contemplating the works of nature, and raise the mind to a devout admiration of the

Divine Author.'- New Monthly Magazine, Jan. 1815. · "The Work before us supplies accurate, though popular, instruction on a variety of topics. It is written in a correct and tasteful style, enlivened by many exquisite quotations from the poets of the day; and is interspersed with such reflections as flow naturally from the conviction that knowledge, to be extensively beneficial, either to its possessor or to others, must be purified by religion, manifested in benevolence, and consecrated to God. - Eclectic Review for February 1815.

"The History of Astronomy, and the first principles of the art, are well displayed in this entertaining volume. It will be the -source of much amusement and information upon the mysteries of the Almanack, and the appearances of the heavenly bodies. .Much curious matter respecting the several Saints' Days has been collected together; which, with an accurate account of the flowers which blossom and the buds which appear in the course of every month, cannot fail to interest and instruct the reader, British Critic for December 1814.

“We have no hesitation in giving “ Time's Telescope” our unqualified commendation.'-Gentleman's Magazine for February 1815.

- This is the second annual appearance of “ Time's Telescope," and we willingly confess that it is niuch improved. The quantity of useful and interesting matter which is here amassed together, distributed with judicious appropriation under each month, is highly creditable to the industry and taste of the compiler. - New Universal Mugazine for December 1814.

Notice of Time's Telescope for 1816. (Time's Telescope is compiled with skill and judgment, and contains niuch desirable miscellaneous information, and many interesting and instructive sketches, particularly on some parts of Natural History. We recommend this Work to the attention of our juvenile readers, who will find it an agreeable and instructive companion.'-Monthly Review for Novcmber 1816.

Notices of Time's Telescope for 1817. We have already noticed the preceding volume of this amusing and instructive performance; and we have now little to add to or deduct from the enconiiums which we deemed it our duty to pass on the contents of that part; the plan being still the same, and the execution and arrangement as nearly as possible on the same model. We shall not consider it as requisite for us to continue our report of this annual publication.'-Monthly Review for August 1817.

«The Almanack, in order to be reduced to a cheap and convenient form, has become so enigmatical, that a more enlarged explanation of its contents and references is very desirable; and such is the purpose of the “ Time's Telescope," which appears to us to be executed in a very amusing way, and the Astronomi. cal portion of it is prepared evidently by a person of science. Critical Review for December 1816.

A very entertaining and useful compendium of multifarious lore.:- Eclectic Review for January 1817.

The industry of the compiler has been successfully exerted in the collection of an entertaining, and, in many respects, useful mass of materials.' –Antijacobin Review for December 1816.

• There is in this volume an excellent Introduction to the « Principles of Zoology," quite studded with poetical citations; and a copious index is added to the whole series. In point of quantity and quality, indeed, the present is fully equal, if not superior, to any of the preceding volumes; and our readers will not readily find a more attractive “ New Year's Present" for their juvenile friends, which, while it acquaints them with the please ing wonders of Nature, teaches them, at the same time, that all these “ are but the varied God."--Gentleman's Magazine for December 1816.



The earth, like a kind mother, receives us at our birth, and sustains us when born: it is this alone, of all the elements around us, that is never found an enemy to man. The body of waters may deluge him with rain, oppress him with hail, and drown him with inundations. The air rushes in storms, prepares the tempest, or lights up the volcano; but the earth, gentle and indulgent, ever subservient to the wants of man, spreads his walks with flowers, and his table with plenty ; returns with interest every good committed to her care; and if she produce the poison, she supplies also the antidote. Though constantly teased, more to supply the wants of man than his necessities, yet, even to the last, she continues her kind indulgence, and, when life is over, piously covers his remains in her bosom.PLINY.

GEOLOGY has for its object the study of the earth in general, of its plains, hills, and mountains ; and embraces the consideration of the materials of which it is composed, and the circumstances peculiar to its original formation, as well as the different states under which it has existed, and the various changes which it has undergone.

Until towards the end of the last century, geology was little understood ; perhaps, because those sciences on which it chiefly depends, chemistry and mineralogy, had not made any great advances towards their present state. It is no wonder, therefore, that in default of a knowledge of these sciences, and of that research by which alone we can become acquainted with the constituent masses of the globe, the activity

of the human mind should attempt to account for the creation and present state of the earth by uninstructed efforts of the imagination. It may be amusing to give a short account of a few of these fanciful theories.

In these hypotheses, two events only, the creation and the deluge, seem to have entered into the calculations of the inventors, as comprehending all the changes to which the globe has been subjected : that is to say, each arbitrarily ascribed to it a certain primitive state, which each supposed to be altered and modified by the effects of the deluge.

The first writer, whose name merits notice, is BURNETT, who may be justly said to have adorned the latter half of the seventeenth century. And though it be true that his pen has rather recorded the sallies of a vivid imagination, than the inferences of sober argument, he will still be read with some profit, though certainly with more pleasure, even in these times. The objection to Burnet and his contemporaries, and immediate successors, is, that they fancifully go back to the chaotic state of the earth, and after enlarging, embellishing, and obscuring the Mosaic history, they pretend to have illustrated and proved it. Accordingly, Burnet, in his Sacred Theory of the Earth, begins with the separation of elements from a fluid mass. The heaviest particles sank, and formed a nucleus, and water and air took their respective stations : upon the water, however, the air afterwards deposited a rich unctuous crust, which begat vegetation, and a beautiful verdure clothed the whole. There were no mountains, no seas, no protuberances

or inequalities; and the equator being coincident with the plane of the ecliptic, all the charms of spring were perpetual. This state of things, however, did not thus continue for many centuries; for the Sun caused large cracks and fissures in the exterior, which by gradual increase extended to the great aqueous abyss ; the waters rose bigber and higher, the surface was utterly broken up and destroyed, and an universal deluge took place : at length dry land began again to appear, owing to a gradual subsidence of the waters, which retired into caverns and crevices originally existing in the nucleus, or formed by the disruption of the crust. Upon the increasing dry land, vegetation began again to exist, and our present islands and continents were formed, while the sea still occupies, in parts, its original bed.

We shall not attempt to recite the minutiæ of Burnet's fanciful theory; but we cannot dismiss his work without quoting the following eloquent passage. It is a funeral oration over the globe : 'Let us now,' says he, reflect on the transient glory of the earth; how, by the force of one element breaking loose on the rest, all the beauties of nature, each work of art, and every labour of man, are reduced to nothing; all that once seemed admirable, is now obliterated ; all that was great and magnificent, has vanished; and another form and face of things, plain, simple, and uniform, Overspreads the earth. Where are now the empires of the world? where the imperial cities, the pillars, trophies, and monuments of glory? what remains, what impressions or distinctions do you now behold? what is become of Rome, the great city; of eternal

« НазадПродовжити »