Oldalképek
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

Can these enumerated monumental results of the great agencies of Nature in past time, presented in close succession throughout the tour, be all really of so magnificent an order, if the traveller may at this time compass the whole island, and scarcely witness, excepting the Geysers, one present display of those agencies which he can describe as eminently grand? To such an insinuation, if such there were, it might be replied, ibat the tour of the whole island would not be likely to make

the traveller the spectator of a greater number of transient, #grand phenomena, than he would have witnessed in remaining

stationary, for the same number of months, in any one spot where the great but slow agencies of Nature were in the course of producing such phenomena; as an object moving in a shower of hail or rain, would not receive a greater proportion of the falling element than if standing perfectly still the same length of time. Five or six months of travelling were thus but equivalent, with respect to the sight of contemporary mighty operations, to remaining so long fixed in any one of a hundred different spots of Iceland. Now, then, imagine the case that there had been a hundred observers placed during those months in these hundred stations, and that they had subsequently brought into one collective description all the magnificent transient phenomena they should have witnessed. If, on the ave

rage, each of them had to relate no more than two or three ! prodigious exhibitions, the whole assemblage would, neverthe

less, form an amazing display of what bad taken place within that short period. It would, by the rule laid down, contain a bundred times as many wonders, of present occurrence, as our Author witnessed in his whole tour. It would in fact contain a far greater proportion ; since a very large part of his time was necessarily spent in passing over tracts where, from the nature of the place, nothing extraordinary was likely to happen, even in the course of many years; whereas, the hundred observers might all have remained stationary, during the whole time, in situations where the great operations of Nature, tending to great catastrophes, were evidently going on. But what a majestic picture would thus be furnished of the continual achievements of that agency, slowly productive of extraordinary phenomena as it may appear, in the descriptive narration of a single observer !

Nevertheless, it will strike every reader that time has wrought a very great change in the island with regard to the power of fire. In this respect, it looks like the vast deserted metropolis of some ancient and fallen empire. In contemplating the unnumbered volcanos, and the immensity of lava and other vestiges of the rage and dominion of fire, it is inevitable to believe, that there have been times when eruptions and earthVol. X. N.S.

R

1

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

quakes were of far more frequent occurrence than during the last few centuries, or in perhaps any age since the island was colonized; though since that period there have been twentythree recorded eruptions of Hekla. This appears to have been the most active in maintaining the formidable sublimity of Iceland; but half a century has now elapsed since its last eruption. In some of the mountains whose extensive lavas proclaim their original character, Snaefell Yokul, for instance, the power of destruction has slumbered ever since the occupation of the island.

The observations at some spots on the southern shore of the Breidatiord, especially at Helgafell and the neighbourhood, give occasion to introduce some amusing reminiscences, historical and legendary, of the first rude pagan settlers in this part of the island. It retains the fame, and, as Dr. H. is satisfied, a substantial monument, of the residence and proceedings of Thorolf, a bold Norwegian nobleman, who took possession of the tract, a little before the end of the ninth century, and distinguished himself and the place by a fanatical devotion to the worship of Thor. This grim Moloch of the North was never sparing in his demands of human blood; and the report of the present existence of one of his most tributary altars,--that on which were sacrificed the culprits condemned in Thorolf's public court of justice,-incited our Author to an active search in and around the spot indicated by ancient reinains to have been a place of convocation : the following is the result...

· We fell in with an immense number of small square heights, which are evidently the ruins of the booths used by the people at the public assembly. 'We here instituted a strict search after the Blotsteinn, or Stone of Sacrifice, on which human victims were immolated to Thor; but sought in vain in the immediate vicinity of the booths, none of the stones in that quarter answering to the description which had been given of it. At last we descried a large stone in the middle of a morass at some distance, which, though rough and unshapen, was determined to be the identical “ Stone of Fear,” by the “ horrid circle of Brumo,” in the centre of which it is situate. The stones which form this circular range; appear also to be of a considerable size ; but as they are now almost covered by the morass, it is impossible to ascertain their depth, except by digging. The circle itself is about twelve yards in diameter, and the stones are situated at short distances from each other. The Blot-steinn is of an oblong shape, with a sharp summit, on which the backs of the victims were broken, that were offered as expiatory sacrifices, in order to appease the wrath of the offended deity, and purge the community from the obnoxiousness of guilt. Within the circle, called in Icelandic domhringr, sat the judges, before whom the accused, with their advocates and witnesses, were convened, while the spectators crowded around the outside of the range in order to hear the trial.'

[ocr errors]

At Hvam, the necessity imposed on the Traveller of reposing, after a stage of great fatigue, in an Icelander's bed, in consequence of having left his tent and bedding behind in order to make a collateral excursion, excited, he confesses, some apprehension, perhaps as much as any of the secondary class of the torrents, chasms, and impending rocks at other places in his progress; and be mentions circumstances little adapted to allay it. His insupportable sleepiness, however, was victorious, and he did not pay the dreaded fine for his long and delicious slumber: thanks to the care of his hospitable entertainer, as shewn in the new and cleanly appearance of the furniture of his couch. He very rarely adverts to the kind of danger here alluded to; but as it exists very extensively, it must form a deduction from the pleasure of a sojourn among the worthy people of Iceland. He found the family of the little farm remarkable for piety, cheerfulness, loquacity, and inquisitiveness. Their curiosity was directed particularly to the condition of the British farmers. This he mentions to have been frequently the case among these peasants; and he had great difficulty to answer their inquiries in a manner that should not give them a mortifying sense of contrast. His usual expedient to prevent or soften this, was to dwell strongly on the insignificance of the inequality of condition during the brief abode on earth, while eternal existence is in 'prespect. And this was, of course, a more consolatory suggestion than to have repeated to them the expression which he had heard from one of the most iotelligent of their clergymen, Our poverty is the bulwark of our hap

piness. Such religious observations, he says, were always • well received, and seldom failed to elicit corresponding sentiments.'

(To be concluded in the next Number.)

Art. IX. SELECT LITERARY INFORMATION.

*** Gentlemen and Publishers who have works in the press, will oblige

the Conductors of the Eclectic Review, by sending Information (post paid) of the subject, extent, and probable price of such works ; which they may depend upon being communicated to the Public, if consistent with its Plan.

The Editors of the Biblical Register are sorry to be under the necessity of joforming their friends, that the en couragement which it bas received, bas not been such, as to justify individuals in continuing a Publication, at a very heavy certain loss, from which, under any circumstances, they would not derive any profit; and that therefore no additional number will be printed. The seven Numbers which have already appeared, may be bad of Simpkio and Marshall, Stationer's Court, Ludgate. Hill, and J. Low, Gracechurch-street, stitched together, price 3s. These con taip, amongst other important and interesting matter, a full account of the plan of Organizing and Conducting Bible Associations ; Historical Accounts of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, and of the Naval and Milic tary Bible Society; Reviews of various Pamphlets for and against the Bible Society, &c. &c.; and are embellished with a Portrait of the Emperor Alex ander.

Dr. Ayre, of Hull, will soon publish, in an octavo volume, Practical Observations on the nature and treatment of tbose disorders which may be strictly denominated Bilious.

Dr. A. B. Granville has in the press, Memoirs on the Present State of Science and Scientific Institutions in France; interspersed with anecdotes, and illus trated by numerous plates and tables.

Dr. Clarke Abel will soon publish, Personal Observations made during the Progress of the British Embassy through China, and on its Voyage to and from that country, in a 4to. volume, illustrated by engravings.

Mr. J. W, Whittaker, of St. John's College, Cambridge, has in the press, a Critical Examination of Mr. Bellamy's Translation of Genesis; comprising a refutation of h:s calumnies against the English Translators of the Bible:

Mr. Jolin Nichols is preparing for publication, in three octavo volumes, the Miscellaneous Works of the late G, Hardinge, Esq.

Dr. Spiker's Travels through England are published at Berlin, and an English translation is preparing for the press.

Dr. Andrew Duncan will soon publish, an Account of the Life, Writings, and Character of the late Dr. Alex. Monro, delivered as the Harveian oration at Edinburgh for 1818.

Johu Galt, Esq. is preparing the Se cond Part of the Life of Benjamin West, Esq.

M. A. Picquot is printing, a Chronological Abridgement of the History of Modern Europe, compiled from the best English, French, and German histo. rians.

Mr. William Carey bas in the press, a Biographical Sketch of B. R. Haydon, Esq. with Critical Observations on his Paintings, and some notice of bis Essays in the public journals.

Dr. Hallarau has in the press a second edition, with considerable additions, of his Practical Observations on the Causes and Cure of Insanity.

In the press, an Historical Account of Discoveries and I'ravels in Asia. By Hugh Murray, F.R.S.E. Author of an Historical Account of Discoveries in Africa. In 3 rols. 8vo. with maps.

In the press, a Geographical and Statistical Description of Scotland. By James Playfair, D.D. F.R.S. and f.a. S.E. Principal of the United College of St. Andrew, and Historiographer to his Royal Highness the Prince Regent. In 2 vols. 8vo. with a map.

In the press, Sermons: By the Rev. C. R. Maturin, Curate of St. Peter's, Dublin. In 8vo.

Dr. Alexander Monro, Professor of Avatomy in the University of Edinbugh, bas in the press, an Account of the Sinall-Pox, as it appeared after Vaccination. Including, among many Cases, three which occurred in the Author's own Family. In octavo, with plates.

Preparing for publication, H. Butterworth's Catalogue of Modem Law Books, 'intended as a Guide to the purchasers of legal works.

Also, the second edition, with con- pear early in September, and that of siderable additions, of the Elements of Rhetoric in the end of Autumn. Forensic, or Juridical Medicine. By Mr. Nichols has published, Poems, George Edward Male, M.D. Physician Latin, Greek, and English. By Nichoto the General Hospital, Birmingham. las Hardioge, Esq. M.A, Fellow of

Also, a new edition, with great addi. King's College. Collected and revised tions; of the Epitome of the Practice by George Hardinge, M.A. F.R.S. and of the High Court of Chancery. By F.S.A. To wbich is now first added, Robert Venables, Esq. Author of the (from the Author's original M.S.) an Practice of Costs in the Court of Chan- Historical Engraving and Essay upon cery.

the administration of Government in Also, A Digest of the Law of the England during the King's minority. Distribution of the Personal Estates of Written soon alter the death of Frederic Intestates. By Francis Mascall, Esq. Prince of Wales. The Latin Poems of of Lincoln's Inn, Barrister-at-Law. Mr. Nicholas Hardinge, (which have

The proprietors of the Rev. Mr. been justly characterized as elassical, Todd's edition of Dr. Johnson's Dice and worthy of the Augustan age,) were tionary, beg to inform the public, that never before printed for sale. they will shortly publish an Abridgement Mr. Nichols has also published a third of lhat valuable work, by Alex. Chal volume of his “ Illustrations of the Limers, Esq. F.S.A.

terary History of the Eighteenth CenAlex. Jamieson, Author of a Treatise tury.” In this volume, among other on the Construction of Maps, &c. has interesting articles, are given Memoirs now in the press, a Grammar of Logic of Nicholas Hardinge, Esq. and his Son, and a Grammar of Rhetoric. These tbe late Mr. Justice Hardinge, with their works are constructed upon principles Portraits, by Ramsay and N. Dance; not hitherto adopted in didactic books, with Memoirs of the truly heroic Capexcept in Mr. Jamieson's edition of tain George Nicholas Hardinge; also of Adams's Elements of Useful know John Townley, Esq. with an elegant Enledge. The Grammar of Logic will ap- graving of his bust, Sc.

ART. X. LIST OF WORKS RECENTLY PUBLISHED.

BIOGRAPHY. Memoirs of John Duke of Marlo borough; with bis Original Correspond. ence, collected from the Family Records at Blenheim, and other authentic sources. By W. Coxe, M.A. P.R.S. F.S.d. Archdeacon of Wilts, and Rector of Bemerton. Illustrated by portraits, maps, and militiary plans. Vol. 2, 410, 31. 3s. bds.

The third volume, which will complete the work, will be published in November.

Memoirs of the Princess Charlotte, By T. Green. Price 12s.

EDUCATION. The Eton Latin Prosody, illustrated with English Explanations of the Rules and Authorities from the Latin Poets. In an Appendix are added, Rules for the Increments of Nouns and Verbs, and a Metrical Key to the Odes of Horace. By John Carey, LL.D. Classical, French, and English Teacher, 12mo, 13. 6d, bound,

New Exercises in Orthography; upon a new plan. By Joseph Guy, jun. Master of the Academy, Poley-street, Is. bound.

A Mercator's Atlas of Skeleton Maps, adapted to modern Navigation and Maritime Surveying. By Alex. Jainieson, Author of a Treatise on the Construction of Maps, &c. royal 4to. 6s. 6d. sewed.

The Algebraist's Assistant; being a Compendium of Algebra, upon the plan of Walkingame's Tutor's Assistant : containing, I. The Elements of Algebra, plain and fractional; with concise explanations and numerous examples, with their answers annexed. II. Equa. tions, both simple and quadratic ; ratios, &c. with the first steps for the solution of the more difficult Problems, II. Application of Algebra to the investigation and extension of the rules of Aritbmetic. IV. Dynamics, or first principles of Mechanics. v. Application of Algebra to Geometry, with

« ElőzőTovább »