« AnteriorContinuar »
Shepherd's Calendar," Mr. Hogg's account of some remarkable storms.
"These constitute the various eras of the pastoral life. They are the red lines in the shepherd's manual-the remembrancers of years and ages that are past -the tablets of memory by which the ages of his children, the times of his ancestors, and the rise and downfall of famiEven lies, are invariably ascertained. the progress of improvement in Scots farming can be traced traditionally from these, and the rent of a farm or estate given with precision, before and after such and such a storm, though the narrator be uncertain in what century the said notable storm happened. 'Mars year,' and 'that year the hielanders raide,' are but secondary mementos to the year nine, and the year forty-these stand in bloody capitals in the annals of the pastoral life, as well as many more that shall bereafter be mentioned.-The most dismal of all those on record is the thirteen drifty days. This extraordinary storm, as near as I have been able to trace, must have occurred in the year 1620. The traditionary stories and pictures of desolation that remain of it, are the most dire imaginable; and the mentioning of the thirteen drifty days to an old shepherd, in a stormy winter night, never fails to impress his mind with a sort of religious awe, and often sets himon his knees before that Being who alone can avert such another calamity. -It is said, that for thirteen days and nights the snow-drift never once abatedthe ground was covered with frozen snow when it commenced, and during all that time the sheep never broke their fast. The cold was intense to a degree never before remembered; and about the fifth and sixth days of the storm, the young sheep began to fall into a sleepy and torpid state, and all that were so affected in the evening died over night. The intensity of the frost wind often cut them off when in that state quite instantaneously. About the ninth and tenth days, the shepherds began to build up huge semicircular walls of their dead, in order to afford some shelter for the remainder of the living; but they availed but little, for about the same time they were frequently seen tearing at one another's wool with their teeth. -When the storm abated, on the fourteenth day from its commencement, there was on many a high-lying farm not a living sheep to be seen. Large mishapen walls of dead, surrounding a small prostrate flock likewise all dead, and frozen stiff in their lairs, were all that remained to cheer the forlorn shepherd and his master; and though on low-lying farms, where the snow was not so hard before, numbers of sheep weathered the storm,
"The next memorable event of this nature is the blast o' March, which happened on the 24th of that month, in the year 16-, on a Monday's morning; and though it lasted only for one forenoon, it was calculated to have destroyed upwards of a thousand scores of sheep, as well as a number of shepherds. There is one anecdote of this storm that is worthy of being preserved, as it shows with how much attention shepherds, as well as sailors, should observe the appearances of the sky. The Sunday evening before was so warm, that the lasses went home from church barefoot, and the young men threw off their plaids and coats, and carried them over their shoulders. A large group of these younkers, going home from the church of Yarrow, equipped in this manner, chanced to pass by an old shepherd on the farm of Newhouse, named Walter Blake, who had all his sheep gathered into the side of a wood. They asked Wattie, who was a very religious man, what could have induced him to gather his sheep on the Sabbath-day? He answered, that he had seen an ill-hued weather-gaw that morning, and was afraid it was going to be a drift. They were so much amused at Wattie's apprehensions, that they clapped their hands, and laughed at him, and one pert girl cried, Aye, fie tak' care, Wattie; I wadna say but it may be thrapple deep or the morn.' Another asked, if he wasna rather feared for the sun burning the een out of their heads?' and a third, if he didna keep a correspondence with the thieves, an' ken they were to ride that night.' Wattie was obliged to bear all this, for the evening was fine beyond any thing generally seen at that season, and only said to them at parting, Weel, weel, callans, time will try a'; let him laugh that wins; but slacks will be sleek, a hogg for the howking; we'll a' get horns to tout on the morn.' The saying grew proverbial; but Wattie was the only man who saved the whole of his flock in that country.-The years 1709-40, and 72, were likewise notable years for severity, and for the losses sustained among the flocks of sheep. In the latter, the snow lay from the middle of December until the middle of April, and all the time hard frozen. Partial thaws always kept the farmer's hopes of
relief alive, and thus prevented him from removing his sheep to a lower situation, till at length they grew so weak that they could not be removed. There has not been such a general loss in the days of any man living as in that year. It is by these years that all subsequent hard winters have been measured, and of late by that of 1795; and when the balance turns out in favour of the calculator, there is always a degree of thankfulness expressed, as well as a composed submission to the awards of Divine Providence."
"But of all the storms that ever Scotland witnessed, or I hope ever will again behold, there is none of them that can once be compared with the memorable 24th of January 1794, which fell with such peculiar violence on that division of the South
of Scotland that lies between Crawford
muir and the Border. In that bounds there were seventeen shepherds perished, and upwards of thirty carried home insensible, who afterwards recovered; but the number of sheep that was lost far outwent any possibility of calculation."
In this latter storm, Mr. Hogg was himself a sufferer, and he describes it with much feeling and lively interest; but for this and many other articles not less entertaining, we refer to the
112. Court News; or the Peers of King Coal: and the Errants; or a Survey of British Strata: with Explanatory Notes. 8vo. pp. 64. Longman and Co.
THE hunter after scandal will be disappointed in this volume; which is no more than an elegant little Poem on a scientific subject, "excited by the perusal of King Coal's Levee, but originally planned for a limited circle of friends."
"The Errants is wholly founded on the Table of Order of Superposition of Strata, by the Rev. W. Buckland, Professor of Mineralogy in Oxford, &c. placed at the conclusion of Phillips's Geology of England and Wales, from which latter work the Author has extended and endeavoured to elucidate the subject."
The Poem is thus opened: "Since the papers inform'd you King Coal held a Levee, Where his grandees assembled each tribe in a bevy,
I have just met a friend who sat there in a cranny, [of many. And has told me the state, and the riches First, nine primitive great ones were seen to advance, [glance, Whose banners unfolded, displayed at a
That no plant or live creature had gain'd them renown, [their own. But some crystallized things more decided They were headed by Granite, a duke of much might, [height: Whose crest was displayed at a very great His supports were Felspar, and old sturdy Quartz, [their hearts; While Mica's kind help claim'd a share of His domains, it was said, were prodigious extensive, [sive."
Although his display was not very expen
113. The Rector's Memorandum Book: being the Memoirs of a Family in the North. Small 8vo. pp. 272. Rivingtons, ALTHOUGH we do not generally approve of Texts of Scripture, and Scripture phrases, being interlarded with tales of fiction, yet fastidious must be the critic who would object to the good Rector's interesting narrative, founded upon the strictest rules of religion and morality; exemplifying in the amiable artless Caroline, that under disappointments and mortifications, such as are usualand well-regulated mind may still ly deemed insupportable, a pious serenity, and of dispensing happiness find the means of enjoying cheerful around. The perusal of these Memoirs has afforded us much pleasure, and we hope they will give equal satisfaction to our readers.
114. The Means of doing Good; pp. 211. Nicholson, Stockport.
THIS Liliputian Manual (multum in parvo), contains useful hints on a great variety of interesting subjects; and the Compiler assures the Reader of it, that
"Not a single proposal will be made in this small volume, which would not, if perused, afford a more durable satisfaction to the mind, than a solution of the most abstruse problems of science. thing shall it contain unworthy of perusal. No object will be proposed, respecting which every good man will not say, 'It were well if it were accomplished.""
115. Early Education; or the Management of Children considered with a view to their future Character. By Miss Appleton, Author of "Private Education," &c. 8vo. pp. 352. Whittakers. MISS APPLETON'S book is very for the perusal of young moproper thers. We must however object to one passage (p. 292), that it is of little moment, whether children learn to read at an early age or not. Now we
are decidedly of opinion, that they cannot learn to read too soon, and though solitary exceptions may occur to delay producing no evil, yet, according to our observation, neglected children in general acquire habits which render subsequent application very irksome. Besides, what can so well prevent children from mischief, gadding, mixing with servants, &c. or introduce habits of self-command and obedience, as the early discipline of school. Other im portant objections to Miss A.'s observation obviously suggest themselves.
116. A Letter on Parents acting as Sponsors for their own Children, with Remarks on some of the Reasons usually offered for wishing to do so; originally addressed by a Clergyman to one of his Parishioners, and now respectfully submitted to the Attention of all those who profess to be Members of the Church of England. 12mo. pp. 12. Greave, Manchester.
THIS sensible Letter, we are told, was originally intended to be confined to a particular parish, but having been approved by a friend, in whose judgment the writer confides, he is induced to give it a chance of wider circulation by printing a second edition.
"Since it was written, the Lord Bishop of Chester has delivered his triennial charge to the Clergy; and it affords great satisfaction to the writer to state that his Lordship notices the impropriety of parents being allowed to stand for their own children, and requests the Clergy more strictly to enforce the Canon by requiring other sponsors."
"The 29th Canon indeed adds, that 'no person shall be admitted godfather or godmother to any child before the said person hath received the holy communion.' So lamentably is the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper neglected in the present day, that were Clergymen strictly to enforce this order, it is doubtful whether sponsors could always be procured; but they who do their duty to their God and Saviour are certainly the most likely to make faithful godfathers and godmothers, and it behoves parents to confine their choice, as much as possible, to such persons.
117. A Serious and Admonitory Letter to a Young Man, on his renouncing the Christian Religion, and becoming a Deist. By the Rev. J. Platts. 12mo. Pp. 12. Hunter.
THIS Letter is expostulatory, not argumentative, though the latter
form was fitter for the subject, it being absurd to think of convincing by persuasion or remonstrance. But Mr. Platts, as we think, deemed the other form to be beyond the understanding of his probable readers.
For our parts, we see no more unphilosophical absurdity in believing, that God sent Christ upon the earth, than that he enabled a piece of iron, rubbed with a certain stone, always to point to the North, or a mixture of salt water and zinc to form a Galvanic battery. Deism, adduced as an argument against Christianity, absurdly implies ratiocination à priori with respect to the Divine actions, which is manifestly impossible. For similar causes cannot be assigned to the actions of two beings, who have not similar necessities; and therefore pbilosophical reasoners do not profess to understand and define things, incapable of premises. And to such persons, although in every age a considerable fancy trade has been carried on in Religion, Deism, as the only possible true system, can be no other than mere bypothesis, drawing conclusions from nothing, and terminating in nothing. Christianity claims a matter of fact basis, prophecy, miracles, and a perpetual co-action of Providence. Dr. Wheeler's admirable lectures show, that certain phænomena cannot be resolved by any other system than that of the Bible: of course, such other systems are unsound.
118. Sacred Leisure; or Poems on Religious Subjects. By the Rev. Francis Hodgson, A. M. Vicar of Bakewell, Author of The Friends, a Poem;" &c. 12mo. pp. 149. Taylor and Hessey.
THIS volume is adapted to the use of serious persons, and contains "A Poem of Cain and Abel," " Jonah," and several shorter pieces.
The first Poem will be found interesting; and from among the shorter ones we select "The Warning of the Libertine."
"O ye, who dream the youthful dream,
And rest in Pleasure's rosy bowers; Who float down Folly's rapid stream, Regardless of the wasted hours: "Attend to one, who knows too well The vaiu pursuit of all ye seek ; By pity urged his shame to tell, Though deep it burns his blushing check.
"Youth, health, were his; and many a flower
Of opening mind his dawn displayed; Ah why, in one unguarded hour
Sprang the rank weed, that bloom to
"Neglected prayer his fall began: Oh, fall not ye by like neglect ! But, casting off the shield of man,
The common doom of man expect. ""Tis prayer that keeps the guileless youth Untainted still in vigorous toil; 'Tis prayer, that sows the seed of truth, And cultivates the teeming soil. "All powers of darkness fly from prayer, For angels watch that holy bed; And wings of white, o'ershadowing there, Chase the foul shape, and phantom dread.
"Oh, gracious bond of man and Heaven,
Blest prayer! by thee we truly live; Thou harbinger of man forgiven, Thou hope of all that Heaven can give."
The Emigrant's Return, a Ballad ; and other Poems. By J. M. Bartlett. Foolsc. 8vo. pp. 156. Chapple.
WE are not fond of poetry which has a metaphysical cast. The sentiment, such as we suppose a Muse would feel and utter, would be that of an accomplished female, founded on sensation and taste, not on ab. struse deduction. The comprehension of it would be intuitive, and the impression excited, sympathetic. Philosophy, which is the anatomy of nature, is indeed most instructive, but not a study pleasing to the eye, and all skeletons are concealed by muscular draperies of endless form and beauty. The misfortune is, however, that the analogies, which are useful for the poetical representation of objects, are not numerous. moon, seasons, storms, and the flower tribe, seem to form almost the whole contents of the poet's tool-chest: but with these only can he work well, when, like Lord Byron, his materials are the richly-veined woods of a fine imagination. But the acquisition of these materials is a study, is a regular habit of registering and remembering fine impressions, like that of a painter or sculptor, noting and preserving the best attitudes, gestures, and features of passion and character.
But there is another mode of certain success, namely, simplicity: it has that effect, because the impression requires no act of reflection, for that weakens it. All that is neces
sary is, that the ideas should be pleasing in se. By these, however, we do not mean the loquela of the nursery, which have the same relation to the beauties of simplicity, as a Dutch painted figure in a toyshop, has to a fine cast in plaster of Paris.
We have made these remarks by way of preface to a duet of Mr. Bartlett's, (set to musick) founded entirely on simple ideas. It is entitled, The Farewell." "SHE.-Farewell! farewell! these struggling sighs,
My bosom's pangs must tell; Farewell! farewell! my tearful eyes, Must weeping, bid farewell!
HE. Dear maid! though far, as ocean rolls,
My pilgrim footsteps stray;
BOTH.-Farewell! farewell! when far apart,
Farewell! farewell! my constant heart,
SHE.-Farewell! farewell! but yet awhile,
Farewell! farewell! no other's smile
My soul's last fond-regret,
We have not much faith in these gaudy resolutions, but they do very in Italics are fine, except the " Dear well for poetry. The ideas marked Maid! but oh"-we hate But ohs. We do not think them one straw better than Hip! Holloa! which we shall expect soon to see introduced into serious poetry, as an improvement. We shall take our leave of he chuses, is very good, with an exMr. Bartlett's poetry, which, when quisite idea in p. 139;
"When hope was young-and life was joy
And time basked in enjoyment's rays.”
poetry for school-boys, who perhaps might do better if they never wrote poetry at all, yet Mr. Bennet is not to blame for what is commonly made an accomplishment in schools. The Prologues and Epilogues are the best pieces.
The Sun, a Poem. By the Author of "Religion, a Poetic Satire," &c. 8vo. pp. 16.
THE Author has sent us a Remonstrance, about our Review of his "Religion;" but, if any person chuses to take the character of a nightman in a Masquerade, we do not see how he can fairly expect commendation for his taste; or that we should risk the respectability and interest of our journal, by puffing a Jacobin Reformer's invective, pretending to a Christian character, yet speaking evil of dignities. The "Sun" is inoffensive; and were it a painting, instead of a poem, might do for a sign. We wish it had been so, for we think it would have paid the Author better, who has more plain sense than poetical talent. That we are not oppressing literary merit, take the following lines in the "Sun:" "O glorious orb! there's none that knows The matter that does thee compose."
Notwithstanding the exceeding badness of his poetry, we believe the Author, from his letter, to be a good kind of a man, spoiled by mob politicks and Dissenting religion.
"1. His political principles. 2. His trade, and what it really was-3. The quality of his intellect-4. The quantity of his intellect-5. Whether the bells did preternaturally ring his recall to London; or whether it were merely the force of his own vanity which gave this favourable meaning to an idle sound--6. Whether he really was mal-treated, as tradition reports, by a kitchen-maid-7. What sort of company he kept-8. What the Cat was by which he rendered himself chiefly notorious, and whether his famous expedition to catch the Cat was undertaken prior or subsequently, to his second Mayoralty."
The Author in this "Tentamen," more particularly confines himself to the 8th division, namely, that which relates to his memorable Cat; upon which we have a curious old ballad.
We conceive this production to be one of the best satirical pieces which have issued from the press for some time. It is replete with humour and irony.
123. Remarks on the Cow Pox, designed for general reading; in which the universal Adoption of Mr. Bryce's Test is strongly recommended. By Jonas Malden, M. D. &c. 8vo. pp. 23. Longman and Co.
MR. BRYCE'S Test consists in a second inoculation on the fifth or sixth day after the first; and, if that first be valid, such second inoculation will be so much accelerated in its progress, as to have the circular blush formed round it within a few hours after the first, increasing with its increase, and fading, as it fades; if on the contrary, the first innoculation has not affected the constitution, the second inoculation will proceed by a slow progress throughout all its stages. Dr. Malden writes in a liberal gentlemanly manner; and in justice to Dr. Jenner, he very properly shows, that by simple precautions only, the Vaccine is made as secure a preventive as the Small-Pox. We say, as the Small-Pox, for both diseases may, and sometimes do, occur twice in the same subject, because the predisposition or susceptibility is not overcome by the first disease. See Jones's Surgical Lectures, p. 138.
124. An Introduction to Arithmetic: in which the Primary Rules are interspersed with a variety of Biographical, Historical, and Miscellaneous Information. By Richard Chambers. A new edition, revised and enlarged. 12mo. pp. 90. Sherwood and Co.
IN this edition the Author has introduced
"Those alterations and improvements which his experience as a Teacher has enabled him to make; and he flatters himself that he has so far simplified the rules as to render them clear and intelligible to young persons, while the great number of examples that he has arranged in the order of progressive difficulty will materially facilitate their arithmetical studies."