Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

spirits that I stand much in need of. I must now say farewell! In a short time I will return and settle with you concerning the purchase of your father's property. Present my respeciful adieu to your amiable wife, and accept my best thanks for your hospitality, and most interesting little history. May you long live to enjoy the blessings around you.”

S*****

To the Editor of the Pocket Magazine. SIR, ---In common with other geniuses, you must be lrighly pleased to remark the present very flourishing condition of Poetry; an art now so diligently cultivated by the youth of these kingdoms, in the various departments of Ode, Elegy, Sonnet, Lines, &c. greatly to their own and their country's credit. The productions of the juvenile school (as I choose for certain reasons to style the body of poets I treat of) have merit of a very elevated as well as original kind; their excellence chiefly consists in a generous ease and looseness of their parts, and a freedom from all thought, which qualities are finely opposed to the stiff, crabbed concatenation, and slavish adherence to meaning, of the old school. The Juveniles, actuated by the true spirit of liberty, have bravely shaken off those trammels with which a literary despotism has long hampered the Muse, and given every possible extension io the poetical license:-taking care, however, in their zeal, not to destroy what was really beautiful and necessary, they have still preserved the prime characteristics of Poetry, RHYME and METRE.

It is insinuated that in this they bave not absolutely the merit of originality; for that the same liberal course of writing has been practised by various poets in every age; but what were these poets' names, and where are their works? A charge of this kind ought to be sustained by some evidence! The more direct slanders promulgated by certain peevish critics, whose wit does not serve them to comprehend the elegancies of the new style, are not worth notice. No spirited poet cares a fig for them ; for my part I do not. I glory in belonging to the Juvenile school, not merely

as a student, but a professor and teacher. My private lessons have been successful in forming sume very clever poets; and the success has inspired me with serions thoughts of rendering my services more extensively useful, by opening a public class for all such of his majesty's subjects as choose to be instructed in the noble art of making verses. I submit the following outline of my plan :--

For the accommodation of such of my pupils as may not find it quite convenient to purchase a RHYMING DICTIONARY, I have invented and adopted a scheme that. properly understood, answers all its intentions When pinched for a rhyme to any particular word, I run the chime upon it throughout the whole alphabet : thus, for example, supposing the word in questiou to be “ Judge;" I begin, budge, cudge, dudge, fudge, and so carry on through every letter to Z; in the course of which process I am sure to hit upon something to my purpose; the most unmeaning sounds being often useful in suggesting very proper according words.

On the METRE or CADENCE of the verse I lay great stress; and I am particularly careful to impress upon the minds of my pupils a due sense of its importance. Some poets think they have done enough when they have jumbled together the right quantity of syllables in each line, but I maintain that the proper arrangeinent of these syllables, and a happy disposition of the pauses, constitute the first beauty of poetry. In the choice of WORDS I am also exceedingly attentive, for nothing shews taste more than the selection of words. I use adjectives copiously, for I consider them liy far the finest sounds in our language, and admir. ably suited to the ennobling of verse; for instance, speaking of the sun, I would call him the glorious, resplendent, magnificent, or the orient sun; no matter whether the latter epithet be applied to a morning or an afternoon sun. Orient is a good word and not to be sacrificed to paltry distinctions of east and west. While I recommend adjectives in general, I highly disapprove of those little low words of the expletive kind, so useful at times in filling up certaju vacancies in a line, except in imitations of Spenser, when I think they have a fine effect, especially if relieved by antique, terms, such as 6 whilome,” 6 eftsoonis," certes,” and the like. .. Some are of opinion that IDEAS are of no consequeuce in poetry, but from these I differ. Except in Songs and other pieces set to music, they are at least convenient ; for I look upon them as a sort of glue by which words are held together. I recommend, however, that they be got up very light and in great diversity; never mind whether they have any bearing one upon another; variety is the point to be aimed at; and I promise to make this, as well as the whole mys.. tery of verse-making, of easy attainment to the meanest capacity in a very few lessons. My plan is but rudely sketched above, but I mean in a few days to furnish the public with a regular prospectus, in which

which every necessary information will be given. Meantime I request the favour of early insertion, and have the ho. nour to be, Your's.

SOLOMON WHISTLECRAFT.

... NATURAL PHENOMENA.

No. 17.--TJIE GREENLAND LAND-ICE. THE land-ice (Fisbræc) in Greenland is one of the most remarkable phenomena in nature, and in extent far exceeds any other hitherto known, running from one end of the country to the other, and covering it with an eternal ice, leaving only some tops of moun. tains, which rise black and naked

naked above it. W you ascend any of the highest mountains, free from ice on the sea-coast, a dreadful view is presented. As far as the eye can reach in every direction, nothiug is seen but a glittering surface, which merits the appelation of an icy ocean. ." This ice is extending every year, increasing in height as well as breadth, and has already occupied the greatest part of the country. Wheu it meets with high mountains it is checked in its progress till it has reached an equal. height, and then proceeds farther without obstruction. An experiment has been made of placing a pole in the earth at a considerable distance

EE

from the line of ice, and that place bas been found occupied by the ice the following year. Its progress is indeed so rapid that Greenlanders, who are still liv. ing, remember their fathers hunting rein-deer among naked mountains, wbich are now completely covered with ice. I have myself seen foot-paths leading to the inland of the country, which are now obstructed by glaciers. It is chiefly in the valleys that the ice is ac. cumulating, and where these reach the sea, and the inner parts of the bays, the ice projects in large blocks over the water. Part of the ice appears to be even and smooth, particularly in the middle, but a part of it very uneven, especially at the extremities towards the naked land, and in those places, where small hillocks have been covered. But if you proceed farther on the ice, that which seemed to be even, consists of vallics with several strata. There are also a number of rents of different widths, and so deep that the eye seeks the bottom in vain. That part of the ice which appeared to be uneven is nothing but projecting hillocks with deep ravines, where it is impossible to proceed, and which bear the appearance of the sea in most violent motion, instantly congealed. If you look down into the rents or observe the ice at the extremities, you find the lower stratum of a blue colour, which is darker towards the bottom, but towards the surface the colour is lighter, the uppermost stratum having its natural whiteness. The noise of water-falls is heard in some of the rents; and a thundering sound frequently heard under your feet when a new rent is made. On inspecting the extremity of the ice, when it is forming in low places, you will find it undermining the ground and pushing it aside as if it were by a plough. This detritus lies collected in heaps all along ihe sides of the ice, like walls, and at first breaking up of the ice is sunk into it for ever. In many places entire lakes are filled, and rivers stopped up; the ice spares nothing.

* « The blocks of ice that forin a continuation of the land-ice and project over the water in the inner parts of the bays,'are yearly increasing. The sea below throws its waves over them, and makes such excava tions, that in many places large poles of ice are hang

[ocr errors]

ing down at the sides, having the appearance of pipes of organs, and in other places it forms immense arches. In proportion as these blocks increase above, and become heavier, the immense masses are precipitated into the water. Many bays are really deep enough to receive such ice-mountains. As one mass falls down, that which is behind is carried along with it, and thus one follows the other with a tremendous cracking noise, like a heavy cannonade. The sea, as is easily imagined, is thereby put into a violent motion, and overflows the land to a great height, and this inundation is felt at the distance of several miles. It has even happened that tents pitched at a considerable distance from the sea, have been carried away and the people have perished. Boats are also in great danger. ." Such masses of ice are at first precipitated deep in the water, and returning to the surface continue for a long time in motion. Sometimes they are united to the flat ice in the bays by congelation, and thus remain surrounded by it for a time; or they break in their fall the ice which is already formed there.

“ Another circumstance which increases these moun. tains is, that in some places there are large lakes above the ice-blocks, discharging their water through openings under them. Round the edges of the lakes are hanging pieces of ice, which in the above-described manner, are precipitated into them. They are then driven to the mouth of the opening, through which the smaller pieces are carried down into the sea, but the larger ones block up the opening, by which not only the water is stopped, but also the other masses of ice. The water rising higher detaches still more of those pieces, and the lake is at last so full of them, that they break a new channel. Thus the masses that were heaped one upon the other are hurled into the sea, accompanied by a continued thundering noise. The sea is put into terrible commotion, and the inhabitants in the neighbourhood, when ihey hear this roaring, expect to see the whole bay blocked up with ice.

“ If the ice-mountains remain for some time under the projecting blocks of ice, (which depends on the state of the wind and the current) their size is then

« AnteriorContinuar »