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Organic Remains.-Author of "Choheleth."
with the debris and relics of near two thousand years, in a solution of water and earth; and the waters of the flood being fifteen cubits above the highest mountains, the whole surface of the globe must more or less be impregnated with marine qualities. The organic remains, shells, and those present constitute one relative character, and before they were disturbed at the deluge composed one body; but the commotion at the flood threw up distinct beds of them, which are now distinguished by the name of organic remains; but I consider that the larger and more splendid portion continued in their original state, as I have never observed any fossil shells that appeared to me equal in beauty, elegance, and workmanship, to many of the present ones; especially the Venus Gnidia, and Buccinum Costatum, which last Mr. Perry, in his Conchology, says, "may be regarded as one of the most laboured of nature's works, as it presents to the eye circumstances of high finishing which an artist can by no means easily imitate, or convey to the mind by any laboured description."
The variety of fossil shells increasing, ingenious men have now arranged them under a special classification. The rarity of some of our present shells may be attributed to the small number left behind at the deluge, for had only half a dozen remained, they would consequently propagate and continue augmenting; and indeed we find it exemplified at this moment; for many shells that were formerly of extreme rarity, are now more plentiful, and there are often discovered what are denominated new shells, because not known before, but though concealed so long, are as ancient as the oyster and cockle; and it is not impossible, though perhaps improbable, that some shells now supposed to be extinct may yet remain concealed at the bottom of some remote and deep sea.
It is quite appalling to those who place unshaken and implicit confidence in the authenticity, inspiration, and authority of the Old and New Testament, to notice the dangerous speculations now promulgated, which boldly insinuate that the globe we now inhabit is to endure to all eternity.
Whilst I regret the support these sentiments receive from some popular
critics, it is some relief to find them called in question by the following paragraph in a late publication, viz.:
"Mr. Lyell seems to thirst for an antiquity of this earth, even greater than that which is indicated by geological phenomena themselves. When he maintains, after Hutton, that we see in geology, as in astronomy, no mark either of the commencement or of the termination of the present order, he appears to forget that the geological series, long and mysterious as it is, has still a beginning. Were masses produced from previous continents and seas,
stocked with their respective inhabitants? If So, what is become of the remnants of these continents, and why do we not see them? And where are the remains of the shell-fish and plants, which, according to analogy, thus asserted, lived at that distant period?" Yours, &c.
Jan. 12. AN allusion in your number for December, p. 482, to the author of Choheleth, as a Turkey merchant, mentioned in Wesley's journal as the same person who was at Lisbon during the great earthquake, induces me to mention that my copy of "An Account of the late dreadful earthquake and fire, which destroyed the city of Lisbon, the metropolis of Portugal, in a letter from a merchant resident there, to his friend in England; London, 1755," dated at Marvilla, Nov. 20, 1755, has attached to in MS. the name of Davy; which seems to have been inserted, as appears by a reference annexed, in consequence of the account in Gregory's Encyclopædia, art. Earthfrom a voquake, extracted in part lume of letters by the Rev. Mr. Davy ;" whether through Mr. Davy or his publisher any farther information in regard to the identity of the writer of the poem or the narrative, may be obtained, may be doubtful. This hint may possibly at least afford a clue to such inquiry; it also affords an opportunity of remarking, that, in the remark cited from Wesley, there is a remarkable proof of that loose, and therefore dangerous, incaution in description and relation which is but too common amongst writers of the same class; for he mentions that the life of the party was saved by being blocked up in the house by the fall of
*British Critic, Jan. 1821, page 202.
part of it, whilst "all who had run out were dashed to pieces by the falling houses." Now this was not the fact. No such remarkable interposition happened. He expressly mentions two servants wounded, one of whom most injured is again mentioned repeatedly in the course of the interesting narrative he even "helped her out of the rubbish, and the other servant went for assistance: and she ultimately, as well as the man, escaped, and was not dashed to pieces; nor was the preservation of the narrator effected by his confinement in, but by his escape at last from the ruins of the house." Historical truth should never be sacrificed for the sake of pathos: to "point a moral, or adorn a tale." G. L.
Dr. Johnson and Bruce.-Naval Tactics.
Jan. 8. Major HEAD's mistake about Dr. Johnson and Bruce (December, p. 482) may be satisfactorily explained thus: -In 1789, the Voyage to Abyssinia, translated from Lobo, was republished with other tracts of Dr. Johnson, by Elliot and Kay of the Strand, in an octavo volume of 500 pages. The editor, Mr. George Gleig of Stirling, who inscribes the work to Arthur Murphy, has prefixed a General Preface, wherein is the following sentence: "The public, indeed, has reason to expect soon, a full account of that country from the pen of the celebrated traveller, Mr. Bruce, &c." Then follows Dr. Johnson's preface to the translation; and as no other dates appear to the volume except the year "1789," as above; and "" Stirling, Dec. 1, 1788," at the foot of Mr. Gleig's dedicatory inscription to Arthur Murphy, it is possible the Major might have taken this as a posthumous work of Dr. Johnson, and was altogether ignorant of its having been published so long ago as 1735. Yours, &c. I. H. H.
MR. URBAN, HAVING waded, like many others, through the elaborate discussions in various periodical works, on the question between Lord Rodney and Mr. Clerk, as to priority of invention of that part of naval tactics usually called Breaking the Enemy's Line, I came to the conclusion (an inevitable one), "that much may be said on both sides," but with a decided leaning to the arguments adduced in favour of Lord Rodney.
Since that I have stumbled on a passage in Polybius which distinctly goes to prove neither one or the other are entitled to the claim of invention; and I cannot do better than give it to you in the words of Mr. Hamilton. Speaking of the battle of Drepanum between the Carthagenians and the Romans, amongst other reasons which he gives for the loss of the battle, by the latter, he states as follows:
They were quite deprived of the advantage, the greatest that is known in naval battles, of sailing through the squadron of the enemy, and of attacking in stern the ships that were already engaged with others."
Thus then it appears that what we claim as a discovery, was well known to the ancients more than two thousand years ago; for the account given, and the expressions used, are so exceedingly fitting to the case in point, that there can be no doubt as to his meaning.
Should the above quotation not appear conclusive, I have little doubt of being able to furnish you with corroborative evidence written 260 years before Polybius; for I am much mistaken if several similar passages are not to be found in Thucydides. Yours, &c.
Jan. 11. NO one who is at all versed in researches of a genealogical nature, will have failed to observe and deplore the difficulty of ascertaining the dates of the births, marriages, and deaths of the wives and younger children of our ancient English families. This remark is not confined to those who lay claim simply to the appellation of gentry, but comprehends the very highest personages of the realm; many of whom have appeared on the stage of life, and made their exit, without leaving any record to attest the period of either event. The only immediate evidence of such dates, prior to the institution of parish registers, are wills, inquisitions, and monuments; and if these exist not, the genealogist is compelled to undertake a weary and often fruitless search through the accumulated series of MS. collections; a task of such labour, that there are few who have zeal or perseverance sufficient to set about it.
These reflections, familiar to me from my own ill-success in similar inquiries, have been now called forth by the perusal of the Wardrobe
The Children of King Edward IV.
and Privy Purse Accounts of King Edward the Fourth and Elizabeth of York, recently edited by N. H. Nicolas, Esq. In the introductory remarks to that publication, are some useful biographical memoranda relative to the children of Edward the Fourth; but singular to remark, the exact dates of the births of most of them, either rest on conjecture, or are altogether unknown. But as many of your readers, perhaps, will agree with me, that any illustration, however slight, which has escaped the researches of one so well versed in genealogy as the Editor of the above publication, is worthy of preservation, I beg leave to subjoin the copy of some entries touching the births of King Edward's children, which may partly serve to supply the deficiency complained of. The volume I transcribe from is No. 6113 of the Additional MSS. in the British Museum, and once perhaps belonged to the College of Arms, as might be conjectured from a note at the end, addressed to some nobleman not named, in the following terms :
"I praye yor L. thinck that no gould or fee could move me to have sent these bookes out of my custodie, but yo' Love only, requiring that yor L. will peruse and send them presently agayne to my office: this 9 December, 1588.-Will'm Detheck, Garter principall Kinge of Armes."
At the commencement is Sir Robert Cotton's autograph, with the following note, "This book I bought of Chalanor," meaning Jacob Chaloner, a collector of the reign of James the First, who on the death of Philip Holland, Portcullis Pursuivant, petitioned for his situation, (see Noble's Hist. Coll. of Arms, p. 392, n). Among some memoranda in Sir R. Cotton's own hand-writing I have seen, it appears that this Jacob Chaloner was in pos
session of Sir Gilbert Dethick's MSS. some of which, with the one I am now describing, were purchased of him, and a few returned, on account of some scruples arising as to their being office books. At the period of the fire in 1731, this volume seems to have been lost from the Cotton library, and subsequently passed into the hands of the elder Anstis. From Anstis it went to Mr. Gough, and at the sale of the library of Mr. G. in 1810, it was restored to the Cotton collection.
This volume contains a mass of very valuable information concerning the ceremonials used at the coronations, christenings, and creations of princes and nobles, from the reign of Henry the Fifth to that of Elizabeth, inclusive; independent of various other documents more immediately relative to the officers of the College of Arms. The principal portion of it seems to have been written by Sir Gilbert Dethick, Richmond Herald, and subsequently Garter King of Arms, in the reigns of Henry VIII., Edward VI., and Elizabeth, with additions by William Colburn, Rougedragon and York Herald, and others. Having stated thus briefly the nature of this MS. I proceed to copy the memoranda which occasioned these remarks, inserted on folio 48, b.
"Kinge Edward the iiijth, childerne.
"Ao D'ni M1 iiije and lxiiij, xj febr'. ao 1465. There was Borne At Westmester The lady Elizabeth Dolffenesse of Fraunce, And Christened in the Abbay churche By the Archebusshoppe of yorke.
Ao D'ni M iiije and 2 Was Borne My lady Mary.
Ao D'ni M1 iiije & 3 Was Borne My lady Cycill' Princes of Scottes.
Ao D'ni M iiije lxx a° x E.iiijti in Nouembre.
The Seconde Day of Novembre was
1 The date has here been filled up by a second hand, and confirms that stated on her monument, adopted by Mr. Nicolas, p. xxxi. Sandford is certainly in error. The title of
Dolphiness," as well as that beneath of "Princess of Scottes," may serve to prove that these memoranda were made by a contemporary.
2 Left blank. Mr. Nicolas supplies the date, which was August 1466. She died May 23, 1482, aged fifteen years and nine months. It was, most probably, the body of this Princess, which in 1810, was discovered, together with that of her brother George, in making an excavation at the east end of St. George's Chapel, Windsor; although Mr. Lysons, partly from the errors in Sandford, and partly from the appearance of the body, seems to doubt it. See his Berkshire, p. 471.
3 Left blank. The time of her birth is not yet ascertained, although it must have taken place between August 1466, and the early part of 1470. Sandford (whom Mr. Nicolas follows) states she died and was buried at Quarera, i. e. Quarre Abbey, near Newport, in the Isle of Wight; and if the muniments of that religious house are still in existence, perhaps some light might be thrown on this subject.
↑ Sandford says on the 4th of November, and Mr. Nicolas on the 14th.
Md that in the yere of our lorde Miiije iiij And the xxth yere of the Reigne of Kinge Edwarde the iiijth on Sainte Martyns even, was Borne the lady Brigette, And Cristened on the morne on Sainte Martyns daye In the Chappell' of Eltham, by the Busshoppe of Chichester in order As ensuethe.
Furste C Torches borne by Knightes, Es
quiers, and other honneste Parsonnes. The Lorde Matreuers, Beringe the Basen,
Havinge A Towell' aboute his necke. Therle of Northumberlande beringe A Taper not light'.
Therle of Lincolne the Salte.
My lady Matrauers dyd bere A Ryche Cry-
My lorde Marques Dorsette Assisted her.
My lady the Kinges Mother, and my lady
officers of Armes caste on theire cotes. And then were light' all' the foresayde Torches.
Presente, theise noble men enseuenge.
The lorde Hastinges, the Kinges chamber-
The lorde Stanley, Stewarde of the Kinges house.
The lorde Dacres the quenes chamberlein,
and many other astates.
And when the sayde Princesse was christened, A Squier helde the Basens to the gossyppes, and even by the Fonte my lady Matravers was godmother to the conformacion.
And from thens she was borne before the high' aulter, And that Solempnitee doon she was Borne eftesonys into her Parclosse, 10 Accompenyed wt the Astates Aforesayde.
And the lorde of Sainte Joanes brought' thither A Spice plate.
And At the sayde Parclose the godfather and the godmother gaue greate gyftes to the sayde princesse.
Whiche gyftes were borne by Knightes turneng to the quenes chamber Aga" and esquiers before the sayde Princess well' Accompanyed As yt Appertey Deo and after the custume of this Realme gr'as.
It must be remarked, that above memoranda confirm the oder of the births of King Edward's children, as stated by Mr. Nicolas and prove Sandford to have been mistaken. The name of George of Shewsbury, the the date of his birti is unknown; third son of Edward, s omitted, and but on making an excavation in St. George's Chapel, a Windsor, in 1810, his body was fourd in a leaden coffin, which fixes hirdeath to March, 1473. and an inscripton, partly obliterated, Lysons's Berkh. p. 471. Your, &c.
Sandford and Nicolas state her birth to have taken place the 19th of April, 1472. She died the 11th of December following.
6 The exact date of this Prince's birth is unknown both to Sandford and Nicolas, although the latter assigns it very justly to this year.
7 This date also is not to be found in either of the above writers. Mr. Nicolas only says, "subsequent to June 1475." The time of her decease is unknown, but is stated, on good authority, to have occurred in 1512, or early in 1513. See Dr. Nott's edition of the Earl of Surrey's Poems.
This line is added by a second hand. She was born before August 1479, and died November 15, 1527.-Nicolas, p. xxiv.
9 Sandford states his birth to have taken place April 29, 1441, p. 403.
10 "Parclos to parte two roumes, separation."-Palsgrave. GENT. MAG. January, 1831.
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CAMBRIDGE PRIZE COMPOSITIONS.
As we are desirous of calling the attention of the Universities and other scholastic institutions to the Classical Department of our Miscellany, we propose to give insertion to such short Prize Compositions as have sufficient merit to appear in our columns. As a commencement, we now (though late) insert the Shakspearian Iambics and the Epigrams, which were the successful compositions at Cambridge in the year 1830. It is our intention to continue the series.
Præmio Porsoniano quotannis proposito dignati, et in curia Cantabrigiensi recitați,
Ρ. Οὐλαῖς γέλᾷ τις τραυμάτων ἄπειρος ὤν.
Ρ. ἐφθέγξατ'· ὦ θεὸς φαιδίμη, φθέγξαι πάλιν.