« PreviousContinue »
quarters. A Glasgow man, who was here once on a fine summer's evening, after tasting of the cool and crystal flood, exclaimed to his guide, "God-sake, man, what a glorious bowl of punch you would mak, if a buddy could turn intil't, for about half an hour, a stream of rum, like that that runs beneath the New Brig o' Glasgow after a Lammas flood; wi' the juice o' a' the leemons that grew since the creation; and twa lumps o' sugar, the taen as big as the High Kirk, and the tither the size o' the Infirmary!" "Anan?" said the guide, astonished at this speech, of which he hardly understood one word; but the man from the Gorbals, wrapped in the magnificence of his thoughts, heeded him not, and, musing, took his way down the hillside. On the side of this lake, which you first reach, the hill is barely high enough to keep in the waters, while, on the opposite side, it shoots up in a steep ascent to the summit of the mountain. The climbing here is rather terrific, as the least slip would send you rolling backwards into the deep lake below; but my head was so full of a little experiment I had in view, that I thought not of the danger. I had been mightily taken with that notable new discovery of the celebrated sixpenny philosopher, Brougham, which overturns the antiquated systems of such fellows as Kepler and Newton (whose discoveries formed a part of that "wisdom of our ancestors," which has been lately discovered to be all fudge,) and oversets the "ould" law of gravity, to the incalculable spread of useful knowledge, and the signal honour and glory of the new University. Now, in ascending Mangerton, I had been dreadfully pestered by a set of fellows, each of whom insisted on act ing as guide to my honour, and, after many ineffectual efforts to dismiss them, I had changed my plan, and told them, that since no entreaties of mine could induce them to desist, as many might accompany me as chose. Meanwhile, I secretly
pleased myself with the thought of how cleverly I should outwit them. "Gravity," said I, extracting Brougham's treatise from my pocket, and reading therefrom, "gravity varies with the distance exactly in the proportion of the squares, lessening as the distance increases: at two miles from the earth, it is four times less than at one mile; at three miles, nine times less, and so forth." Very well, I continued, if, at one hundred yards high, these men weigh ten stone each, (and I am sure they were not more, for they were small lightlimb'd fellows,) when we get up two hundred yards, that weight will be diminished in the ratio of one to four; and when we shall get eight hundred yards up the hill, which is near the top, their weight will be to ten stone each, but as one square is to eight square, that is, one to sixtyfour; in short, they will be little more than two pounds a-piece. Here then was my scheme-the fresh mountain breeze made me feel as vigorous as ever I did in my lifeSo, thought I, I shall, on some pretence, range my guides in a row along the top of the mountain, at intervals of twelve paces, which will allow room for a tidy little run between each: then, taking my race, I shall give each, in succession, & kick so vigorous, that, as they will be then little heavier than so many blown bladders, I shall see them severally wafted down the hill, to at least half a mile from the point of impact, and I can get clear off at my leisure. On the brow of the hill then, over Satan's bowl of toddy as aforesaid, I ranged my men in order, and commenced operations; but, judge of my astonishment and dis may, when the first man, instead of floating swiftly down the hill-side, with an initial velocity proportionate to the impetus communicated by the lever power of my dexter toe, exhi bited such an unphilosophical vis inertia, as actually to withstand the shock, and collar me in an instant, demanding, with a volley of oaths, and in language somewhat of the
plainest, what the d- I meant. The altercation soon turned the rest, who bastily inquired what was the "The matter!" said he of the wounded seat, "I never got such a kick in my life; an' I'll take the law of him, so I will."
I never felt so convinced of the excellence of the metaphysical definition of solidity-it is, that resist ance which we find in a body to the entrance of any other body into its place, until the former one has been removed. This resistance I had experienced to my cost; and it so completely overset my centre of gravity, that bad not the fellow collared me so quickly, I should have L been laid sprawling on my mother earth, floored by the equality of reaction to action; whereas I had expected but to beat the air. I looked as blank as a friar at a feast on a Friday; but as a man cannot have everything his own way in this world, like a bull in a china shop, I was fain to ascribe my proceeding to an occasional flightiness to which I was subject, and got off by tendering a golden remedy of sovereign efficacy for the sore place, and a full day's pay to all the rest. Then, muttering an anathema as mild as Doctor Slop's malediction on Obadiah, against all Jews, Whigs, atheists, lying philosophers, and other atrocious persons, I crept to the topmost summit of Mangerton.
Pardon, as Mr. Locke says, this little excursion into physics. The failure of my first essay in natural philosophy, left me in that frame of heavenly pensive contemplation best suited for relishing and appreciating the beauties of external nature; and now, indeed, a scene of iuimitable grandeur burst upon my astonished sight. As I faced towards the east, I beheld a wide reach of the Atlantic, with the little islands, called the Blasquets, in the distance; farthest to my right the bays of Castlemaine and Dingle, with the hills above them, were visible on the southern horizon; while far upon my left, Bantry Bay was distinctly discerni
ble; and more near me, in the same direction, the bay and river of Keumare. Right beneath lay all the glories of Killarney-groups of mountains, richly wooded, dwindled into conical, or fantastically shaped hills from the height at which I stood, while sectious of the different lakes stealing in amongst them in every direction, and reflecting the dancing suubeams, gave light and effect down to the very base of every group. The whole scene more resembled one of "those painted clouds that beautify our days," and deck the sunny skies of imagination, than anything one is accustomed to in nature and reality. Then came a change a thick mist suddenly spread itself over the valley, and soon, in volumed masses, came rolling up the mountain's side, with a fearful and astonishing rapidity, and then sweeping across the whole line of view, shut the scene, as though it were a curtain drawn by the hand of God across the face of his most glorious creation. One minute all was sparkling in the sun, the next enveloped everything in a cold wet cloud, which I distinctly saw rushing towards me, till it struck me in the face, and clothed me like a wet garment. Shortly afterwards came on a shower of sharp, hard, little hailstones, that penetrated like needle points, and soon it turned to a mixture of snow and sleet. Under this I wended my way along a mountain path that overhangs the Punch-Bowl and Gleana Cappul, or the Horse's Glyn. When the shower began to clear away, and the mist occasionally broke up, so as to transmit a gleam of light, it was almost fearful to look down the precipitous steep upon the sullen water, or the huge void of the deep glyn; while, from every jagged eminence, depended a fleece of fog, streaming like the torn banners from some castle's height, after the rush of the battle is over.
By the time I had slowly descended, with the assistance of the guide, to the bottom of the slippery and almost perpendicular bank, to the
level of the loch, the mist had passed away, and left only the fleecy rack careering with the wind; so that, after I had addressed myself with earnest diligence to my sandwiches, and repeated draughts of neat Hollands, I bounded down the mountain to Turk waterfall, with the vigour and agility of a native red deer; took the water at Glenah, and rowed across to Ross Castle, touching only at the island of Innisfallen, a delicious, quiet, little spot of soft green, and full of trees of Nature's own planting. The Abbey here has nothing to offend one, nor truly any thing very much to interest either, though it be I know not how many ages older than that of Mucness. I must except one spot, to which the fair-haired gilly who showed the lions directed my attention in a man. ner rather to be imagined than described. The stone-wall was there
stripped of its ivy covering, and seared, evidently with the traces of recent fire; the scattered woodashes, too, on which the pensive eye of the lad rested, as his lip moistened, and his whole countenance assumed the pleasing melancholy cast of well-remembered pleasure-all, all betokened "that man had been here." "That, sir," said the lad, at length breaking silence, with a sigh of deep emotion," that is the place where they brile the salmon wid branches of arbutus-just as they takes it out of the wather, they splits it, sir, and fixes it up wid arbutus skivers." "And is it excellent?" "D-l a bether in the nayshins.”— (Nations.) Here was food for me ditation! How idly do philosophers dispute whether man should be defin ed a rational, or a cooking animal! There needs but half an eye to see that the terms are synonymous.
HUTCHINSON'S HISTORY OF MASSACHUSETTS.*
VERYBODY has heard or read the history of the war of independence in America; but an intimate knowledge of the causes which estranged our transatlantic colonies from the parent state, and of the various transformations through which dissatisfaction passed ere it became rebellion, is by no means common. Governor Hutchinson, the historian of the province of Massachusetts, and author of the work now before us, was a distinguished actor in those troubled scenes, which he has described with an able and apparently faithful pen, though, from various causes, he was unfavourable to the independence of America, and discovers a strong prejudice against many of the popular leaders. His character, however, both as a man and as an author, appears to be held in great estimation in the republic; and indeed, the present work, which may
be regarded as the third volume of his "History of Massachusetts," seems to have been published in consequence of the pressing entreaties of several citizens of the United States. To show the opinion entertained of Governor Hutchinson in America, and the value set upon his literary productions, we shall select from the editor's preface what may be regard ed as the history of the publication, convinced that whoever is likely to feel an interest in the work will be pleased with learning to whose exer tions and care he owes it.
"The appearance of a work fifty years after being completed for the press, renders it necessary to explain both the occasion of the delay, and the grounds on which it is still deemed suitable for publication. When the government of England had ac quiesced in the dismemberment ef the empire, the editor's venerated
The History of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, from 1749 to 1774, comprising a deta ed Narrative of the Origin and Early Stages of the American Revolution. By Thomas Hutchar son, Esq. LL.D., formerly Governor of the Province. Edited from the Author's MS. by bu Grandson, the Rev. John Hutchinson, M.A. London, 1828. Murray.
uncle and father resisted every inducement to give to the public the following pages, at a time when they were eagerly sought, lest the publication of such a work, on their part, should, notwithstanding its unimbittered tone, have a tendency to deepen discordant feelings between countries, finally separated, indeed, as parent and colony, but reallied, as independent powers, by the treaty of peace in 1783. Such, in fact, had been Governor Hutchinson's own reluctance to give personal offence, that, though he wrote his work five or six years before the treaty, which he did not survive to witness, yet, when about to describe the characters of some of the leading revolutionists, he left a discretionary power with his representatives, of introducing or omitting the passage (page 293-298,) having prefaced it with the words, 'Here insert as follows, if thought proper.' A vote, however, of the Massachusetts Historical Society, passed in 1818, to solicit the immediate appearance of this work; and the earnest applications of literary gentlemen in America, which were forwarded, with the vote, to the editor's father, furnished decisive evidence that the lapse of years had thrown the events of the revolutionary period sufficiently into distance, to put an end to the only important obstacle to publication. Subsequent delay has been merely accidental.
"Conjointly with the removal of the principal impediment, fresh inducement to publish presented itself: for the communications from America, whilst they clearly evinced that political excitement was at an end, bore also the strongest testimony to the high estimation in which the author was held, as the historian of his native country. In proof of this, the vote alluded to is here introduced. "At a meeting of the Massachusetts Historical Society, "October 29, 1818. "Voted, That the President be desired, in the name of the Society, to make application to Elisha Hutch
"This letter was accompanied by another, from the former President of the Society, Christopher Gore, Esq., LL.D. containing a similar request.
"On the same occasion, the Rev. John Thornton Kirkland, D.D., President of Harvard College, Cambridge, addressed a letter to the editor's father, who graduated in that University in 1762.
"These testimonies, proceeding from men whose sentiments on the leading subject of this volume are naturally much at variance with those of its author, taken in connexion with the circumstance, that the literary zeal of an individual member of the Historical Society, James Savage, Esq., of Boston, has secured the private circulation of five hundred co
pies of the present edition in America, will, it is hoped, add interest to the work, in the eyes of that portion of English readers, whose favourable regard is especially solicited." pref.
The historian commences his historical gallery of portraits with Mr. Bowdoin. Next come the portraits of Mr. Samuel Adams and Mr. Hawley; and those of Mr. John Adams and Mr. Hancock close the list.
We have only room to extract from this work the following curious account of the trial of a man at Boston, for piracy.
"The trial of a person for piracy,
committed upon the high seas properly, though at but a few leagues distance from Boston, deserves to be mentioned; if for no other reason, for the unparalleled cruelty and inhumanity of the fact; but there were, besides, circumstances attending the prosecution and trial, which show the prejudices of party in a very strong light.
"In the autumn of 1772, the crew of a small fishing schooner, and one passenger in her, sailed from Boston, bound to Chatham, a harbour on the back of Cape Cod. The next morning she was discovered between the harbour and the island of Nantucket, having nobody on board but the passenger, who made a signal of distress, and who gave an account, that, after leaving Boston, the vessel was boarded in the evening by a large boat, rowed with twelve oars, which came from an armed schooner lying to at a distance; that the boat's crew had murdered the whole company of the fishing vessel, consisting of three men and a boy, had plundered the vessel, and then left her, with her helm lash ed, and her sails standing, and properly trimmed; that the passenger, supposing it to be a boat from one of the king's schooners, and that he should be impressed, had concealed himself, by hanging by his hands over the tafferel, and that, when the boat left the fishing vessel, he returned within board, and, as soon as the large schooner was out of sight, made sail and stood out to sea. There was much blood upon deck, and traces of blood which had run out at the scuppers, and marks of plunder, by broken boxes, stove casks, &c. The fishing vessel being carried into harbour, the passenger was examined by a justice of peace, who gave so much credit to his story as to suffer him to go at large, but thought it necessary to send a copy of his examination to the governor at Boston. Some were ready enough to charge the piracy and murder to a king's schooner, then expected from Rhode Island, and it was suggested that the crew might have risen upon the com
mander and officers, and have become pirates. The admiral thought fit to send out one of the king's ships to cruise, which returned in eight or ten days withont any discovery. Every part of the passenger's ac count appeared to the governor incredible, and, as a commissioner for the trial of piracies, &c. he issued a warrant to apprehend him, and bring him to Boston, and, after examination, committed him to prison for trial. A special court of vice-admiralty was soon after held in Boston, at which the prisoner was brought upon trial for the murder of the persons who, as was proved upon the fullest evidence, sailed in the vessel with him from Boston; but the coupsel for the prisoner moving for fur ther time, and urging that intelligence might probably be obtained of a rate schooner having been in the bay, and it appearing that a large armed schooner sailed from Bostat, bound to the coast of Guinea, at the same time with the fishing vessel, the court thought proper to adjourn the trial for six months.
"Before this time expired, the governor had received from the sec retary of state the opinion of the a torney and solicitor-general, take ten years before, upon the construction of the statute of king William for trial of piracies, &c. in America. And although jurisdiction was gives in piracies, robberies, and other fe lonies,' yet, according to this opiner. murder, being a 'felony' of a higher nature than piracy, was not a felony intended by the statute. It therefore became necessary to send the prisoner to England for trial there; or to try him in America for the 'piracy' only; or, otherwise, to dis charge him. It was not practicable to have the evidence in England. necessary to conviction. He wa therefore charged with the piracy only; but the advocate-general har ing set forth, in the libel, the murder of the four persons on board, as per petrated by him in order to the p ratical taking and carrying away the vessel and goods- the offence