Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

Let us now suppose this venerable insect, the Nestor of the Hypanis, a little before his death, and about the hour of sun-set, assembling all his descendants, friends, and acquaintances, to impart to them dying his last thoughts, and give them his final advice. They repair from all parts under the vast shelter of a mushroom, and the departing sage addresses himself to them in the following manner:

• Friends and countrymen, I perceive that the longest life must have an end. The term of mine is arrived, and I do not regret my fate, since my age was become a burthen to me, and to me there was no longer any thing new under the sun. The revolutions that have desolated my country, the great number of particular accidents to which we are all subject, the infirmities that afflict our race, the misfortunes that have happened to me in my own family; all that I have seen in the course of a long life, has but too well taught me this grand truth; that no happiness, plac'd on things which do not depend on us, can be secure or durable. The uncertainty of life is great. One whole generation perish'd by a sharp wind. A multitude of our heedless youth were swept off into the waters by an unexpected fresh gale. What terrible deluges have I seen happen by a sudden shower! Our most solid coverings are not proof against a storm of hail. A dark cloud makes the most courageous hearts to tremble. I liv'd in the first ages, and convers'd with insects of a taller stature, a stronger constitution, and I may add of more profound wisdom than any of those in the present generation. I beseech you to give credit to my last words, when I assure you, that the same sun, which now appears beyond the water, and seems to be not far distant from the earth; that very sun I have formerly seen in the middle of the heavens, casting down his rays directly upon us.

The earth was much more enlightened in those past ages, the air much warmer, and your ancestors were much more sober and more virtuous. Though my senses are impair’d, my memory is not, and I can assure you that glorious being has motion. I saw his first rising over the summit of that mountain, and I began my life about the same time that he began his immense career. For a great many ages he advanced along the heavens with a prodigious heat, and a brightness of which you can have no idea, a brightness which would certainly have been to you insupportable. But now by his decline, and a sensible diminution of his vigour, I foresee that all nature will soon be at an end, and that the world will be buried in darkness in less than an hundred minutes. Alas! my friends, how did I formerly flatter myself with the deceitful hope of living for. ever upon this earth! What confidence did I not put in the firmness of my members, the spring of my joints, and the strength of my wings! But I have liv'd long enough for nature and for glorye none of those, whom I shall leave behind me, will have the same satisfaction in this age of darkness and decay, which I see is already begun.'

Art. II.-Some Account of an improved Mode of suspending

Guzometers. By Robert Hare, Junr. Honorary Doctor in Medicine, and Member of various scientific Societies.

[blocks in formation]

T is well known to all who are conversant in gas light apparatus, that no mode has been heretofore devised to render gazometers accurately equiponderant at all points of their immersion in the water; a circumstance so indispensable to their action. The mode adopted in the large London Establishments, and which appears to be the most approved, is that of the gazometer chain. This is costly; difficult to execute well, and not susceptible of correction, when errone ly proportioned to the desired effect; especially after the apparatus is in operation. From all these faults, the method of suspension on a beam, like that in our cut, is entirely free. In practice it has answered perfectly: and, when we have described the mode of constructing such a beam, we think the rationale of its operation will become self-evident.

Find (by trial, if possible; if not, by calculation) the weight of the gazometer when sunk so low, as that the top will be as near as possible to the water, without touching it. In the same way find the weight of the gazometer at the highest

1

point of immersion, to which it is to rise, when in use. Then, as the weight in the last case, is to the weight in the first; so let the length of the arm A, be to the length of the arm B. From the centre D, with the radius A, describe a circle; on which set off an arch C, equal to the whole height through which the gazometer is to move.

Divide this into as many parts as there are spaces in it, equal each to one-sixth of the radius or length of arm A. Through the points thus found, draw as many diameters; which will, of course, form a corresponding number of radii and divisions, on the opposite side of the circle. Divide the difference between the length of A and B, by the sum of these divisions: and let the quotient be q. From the center D towards the side E, on radius 2, set off a distance equal to the length of the arm A, less the quotient or q. On radius 3, set off a distance equal to A, less 2 q, or twice the quotient; and so set off distances on each of the radii; the last being always less than the preceding, by the value of q.. A curve line bounding the distances thus found, will be that of the arch head E. The beam being supported on a gudgeon at D, let the gazometer be appended at G; and let a weight be appended at F, adequate to balance it at any one point of immersion. This same weight will balance it at all other points of its immersion-provided the quantity of water displaced by equal sections of the gazometer be equal. But as the weights on which A and B were predicated, may not be quite correct; and as, in the construction of large vessels, equability of thickness and shape cannot be sufficiently attained—the consequent irregular buoyancy is compensated by causing the weight to hang nearer to, or farther from the centre, at any of the points taken in making the curve. This object is accomplished by varying the sliders seen opposite to the figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. When they are properly adjusted, they are made firm by the screws of which the heads are visible in the diagram.

The drawing is of a beam twelve feet in length; and of course, the length of the arm A is six feet-that of B, four feet-their difference two feet; which divided by 6, the number of points taken in making the curve E, gives four inches for the quotient q. Hence the distance on radius 2, was five feet eight incheson radius 3, five feet four incheson radius 4, five feet-on radius 5, four feet eight incheson radius 6, four feet tour inches—and lastly four feet.

The iron gudgeon, where it enters the beam is square. The projecting parts are turned true, and should be bedded in brass or steel dies; placed, of course, on a competent frame.

The sixth part of a revolution of the portions of the gudgeon thus supported, is the only source of friction to which this beam is subject during the whole period of the descent of the gazometer;--which, in large ones, does not ordinarily take place in less than six hours. Art. III.- Pilgrimage to the Holy Land: a Poem in two

Cantos. To which is added, The Tempest, a Fragment. By Lord Byron. Philadelphia: republished by M. Thomas.

1817. pp. 65. NOTWITHSTANDING the positive assertion, contained

, copyright of this little work was assigned to him by the noble author himself,' for the consideration of five hundred guineas, some doubts of its genuineness still linger on our mind. The character of Lord Byron's poetry is so marked and peculiar, that its rudest features may, without much difficulty, be imitated, or rather mimicked, so as to deceive a careless or superficial reader. But those fine touches of wild and deep pathos, interspersed in all his compositions, among a thousand crudities, are not so easily copied—and perhaps not to be equalled, by any living manufacturer of rhyme. For the sake, therefore, of the reputation of this wayward child of poesy, we cherish a hope, that these productions, denominated Poems, will appear, by future investigation, to have been, not the rickety offspring of his Lordship's fascinating muse; but the chef d'æuvre of some tyro poetaster, trying his wing in an imitation before he has acquired audacity to attempt a flight.

It is undeniable, that great poets sometimes write bad verses; but it is generally, because their subject is ungracious to their feelings or ill suited to their taste.

No such excuse, however, can be imagined for the flatness, the vapid dulness, that pervades the Pilgrimage. Lord Byron's forte, we conceive, indisputably to be in portraying, by a splendid figure, or by inimitably, forcible description, that gloomy state of dejected sensibility in hearts of sublime enthusiasm and exquisite feeling that consciousness of inward desolation, which he somewhere characterizes as the leafless desert of the mind.' And it is by so powerfully touching the chord in our bosoms, which vibrates in such a state of feeling that he forces us, in the might and majesty of his eloquence, to love the Corsair in spite of all his crimes, and to forgive the licentiousness of Childe Harold.

Having often experienced the magic of his numbers, we were led, by the title of the Pilgrimage, to anticipate the loftiest excitement of fancy and feeling, from so noble a subject, touched by so masterly a hand. The idea of the Holy Land, associated, as it is, with the recollection of all the romantic fictions of chivalry, and the not less romantic realities of the crusades, besides the sacred scenes of the New Testament,-never fails to excite, in minds of no uncommon fervour, a crowd of enthusiastic sentiments, which blend the zealous ardour of piety with the more tempered sadness of reason, in a comparison of that most interesting country in her present debasement, with her past happiness and importance. With a subject so fit to touch the poet's hallowed lips with fire, we hoped Lord Byron's fervid fancy would have been

• Not touched but wrapt, not wakened, but inspired.' We thought he had, at last, found a theme capable of calling forth the full powers of his genius; and we entered upon the perusal with expectations perhaps unreasonably raised. But, whether the fault were the poet's or our own,-in proportion to our expectations was our disappointment. Instead of a fine bold rhapsody, glowing with sentiment and sparkling with metaphor, we waded through a spiritless, tame, prosing story of a voyage along the coast of France and Portugal and Barbary: and when at last we had come near the promised land where, as poets say,

- Carmel's mount in hazy splendour drest Drives through the obscuring mist its lofty crest,' we found no change in the style or sentiment,-no loftier tone of poetry excited; but the noble pilgrim, after a most farmer-like reflection on the great crops of corn, which might be produced from the fertile soil of Syria, in these words:

• What pity that so fair, so kind a soil
That teems prolific at the touch of toil,
In whose dark brrast rich mines of beauty lie
And lusty harvests hall the genial sky;
Where no foul blights the tender blossom wound
Nor cast the bud to wither on the ground,
What pity that a land so fairly graced

Like a rich wilderness should run to waste, &c.' flies off to Spain, France and England; joins the opposition in parliament to demand a retrenchment of sinecures; and so arrives at his most lame and impotent conclusion.

We do not mean to say, however, that the poem is destitute of beauties. On the contrary, it has an unvaried pretti

« AnteriorContinuar »