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traveller has a right to claim bread and beer gratis, which are given “without grudging,” in memory of the founder, De Blois. In the reign of Henry VIII., Netley Abbey shared the fate of the other religious houses, and although the building fortunately was not destroyed, yet it was converted into a residence for one of the tyrant's favourites. It passed afterwards into the hands of the Marquis of Huntingdon's family, and about the beginning of the last century, Sir Bartlet Lucy, to his eternal disgrace, sold the abbey, till then uninjured, to a Mr. Walter Taylor, a builder at Southampton, for the purpose of destroying it, and applying the materials to other purposes. After Mr. Taylor had signed the contract, some of his friends told him that they would never be concerned in the demolition of holy and consecrated places. These words so strongly impressed his memory, that he dreamed that, in taking down the abbey, the keystone of the arch over the east window fell from its place and killed him. He persevered, however, in his intention, but the dream was singularly verified, for, in assisting his workmen to demolish that very window, a stone fell on his head, and after a few days, death terminated his existence. This accident occasioned a direct stop to be put to the demolition of the abbey, and the superstitious gloom which it generated has had an evident tendency to the preservation of the ruins in more modern times.
The remains of this venerable edifice are very extensive, and rendered extremely magnificent by their size and architectural beauty, by the effect of the trees and shrubs which have sprung up within, and now overshadow them, and by the mantle of ivy which
"creeps from stone to stone,
And fondly clasps them with a last adieu.” No pen can do justice to the air of solemn grandeur and religious melancholy reigning within its desolated cloisters, and inspiring that mysterious sentiment of awe, with which we gaze on an inanimate body, from which the soul has departed. The form still appears in its beauty, but the life and animation which have reigned within, are now extinct for ever. How grand must the anthem of many hundred voices formerly have sounded, awakening the distant echoes as it arose, and dying away beneath the vanlted arches, while every mouldering arch glittered with the paraphernalia of torches, burning incense, and processions, and all the splendid ceremonial of the Catholic faith!
This abbey was composed of a mass of buildings, encircling a quadrangular court, the north side of which was bounded by the chapel. This is built in the form of a cross, and was originally a very elegant structure, in the English style of architecture ; but its beautiful roof, richly adorned by ramifications spreading from the interior of the groins, has fallen in ; its north transept is destroyed ; most of its windows are bereaved of their tracery ; and many other parts are completely demolished. The southern transept and the east end are the most perfect ; the columns and arches which remain are beautifully light and elegant. The stone work of the grand eastern window still remains uninjured, as if to assert the supremacy of art, while nature has mounted her colours to the summit of every pillar, and waves her long pennons of ivy over the windows and doors.
Several other parts of the monastic buildings remain, but all of them are dilapidated, and the devices and armorial insignia, which once decorated their walls, may be traced on the ruins that strew the ground. The Abbot's kitchen is a curious vaulted apartment, about 50 feet in length. The chimney or fire-place is of a very singular form, and nearly opposite, is a dark vault or aperture, which terminates in a coppice some little distance from the abbey. The other buildings, which are yet to be traced, are all but obliterated, with the exception of the massive side walls, 200 feet in length, and 60 feet in breadth, which still remain intact. A large moat that surrounded the abbey is yet discernible; and, at a short distance, overhung with trees and underwood, are two large ponds, which supplied the monks with fish.
On contemplating this vast memorial of by-gone ages, the mind is overcome with emotions partly of a painful, but partly of a pleasing character. It is saddening to reflect on the fact that structures, so grand and so beautiful as Netley Abbey, were erected for purposes so unworthy; on the useless if not vicious lives of too many of their mistaken inmates; on the intolerance and bigotry which they generated; and on the superstitious ceremonial observed within their walls. But, on the other hand, monastic establishments are not destitute of pleasing associations. In their secluded cells was preserved, through the dark ages, the ray of religion and learning again to illumine the world. In their cloisters were sometimes found men of learning, wisdom, and may we not add, piety; and from their open portals : generous, if not a judicious hospitality, was freely afforded to those who needed it most.
REMARKS ON SOUND. THERE is scarcely any subject exercising an equally important influence upon man, of the nature and operations of which entire ignorance so generally and extensively prevails, as the phenomena of sound. Sound is caused by the parts of a body being put in rapid motion, producing a collision and percussion of the particles of air, and causing a vibration in the atoms of the surrounding atmosphere, which is transmitted and diffused through space, until it meets with some resisting body. Sound is not perceptible to the ear, unless there is a proper medium of communication between the sounding body and the auditor ; some medium of communication is absolutely necessary, which under ordinary circumstances is supplied by the air. If a bell is rung in the exhausted receiver of an airpump, and every condition necessary for its sounding be complied with, except its being surrounded by the air, its sounds are scarcely perceptible ; and even the small portion of sound it does emit may be altogether destroyed by lining the receiver with wool, or some similar substance. A scratch made with a pin on one end of a piece of timber fifty feet long, may be distinctly heard at the other end. A bell rung under water has been plainly heard at a distance of 1200 feet by a person whose head has been immersed in the same body of water. Miners, in the pursuit of their dangerous avocation, are sometimes made aware of their vicinity to work. men in another vein, by the sound of the pickaxe transmitted through the solid stratum. Savages are in the habit of putting their ear to the ground to ascertain if their foes are approaching; and, in the whispering gallery of St. Paul's Cathedral, London, a person may hear the softest whisper apparently uttered in a much louder voice, although he is standing at a distance of 140 feet from the speaker.
The mode in which sound is produced has been repeatedly demonstrated by actual experiment. If a spiral spring be struck, a vibration is produced which may be readily distinguished by applying the end of the finger or the finger-nail to it. This vibration causes an impulse in the air, which yielding to its pressure, a condensation or compression is produced, and a corresponding rarefaction on its opposite side, the spring immediately returns to its former position, and passes to nearly as great a distance on the opposite side (friction and the resistance of the air preventing it from going quite so far), and, in accordance with a well known axiom in mechanical philosophy, the position of the air is also changed, that space which before had contained rarefied air, is occupied with condensed air, and vice versa. The condensed air instantly expands, and communicates an impulse to the air next in contact with it, which process is repeated until the successive impulses thus produced are transmitted to the tympanum or drum of the ear, and the mind thus receives the idea or impression which we call sound. This effect may be produced by various means : a bell, or a tuning-fork being struck, causes a tremulous motion, or a succession of vibrations in the air. And on the organs of the voice, a musical pipe, or any other description of wind instrument, the effect is the same, the column of air vibrating and communicating its motion from side to side throughout the length of the tube. If the string of a pianoforte be struck, it is drawn out of the right line which it previously formed, producing compression on one side, and rarefaction on the opposite, which by the recoil of the string is repeated; and, as already shown, this effect is transmitted to the surrounding atmosphere, until, by friction and the resistance of the air, the string arrives at a state of rest. The vibrations of a musical spring, or other sounding body, are nearly isochronous ; and it appears, from recent experiments, that the nearer perfect isochronism can be obtained, the more superior will be the quality of tone. If the vibrations do not amount to at least thirty per second, the ear is incapable of distinguishing tone. In proportion as the number of vibrations or beats which are performed in a certain time, are greater or less, so is the difference which we express by saying that one is higher or lower than the other. That which we call highest has the greatest number of vibrations in the same time, and that which we call lowest has the least. By an ingenious invention, a mode of counting the vibrations has been introduced, so that we can now with ease effect that which there was formerly great difficulty if not impossibility in accomplishing, we can now have one fixed uniform standard of sound, and transmit to a correspondent, at any distance of place, or of time, the exact type of any musical sound we may desire.
By the aid of this invention, it has been ascertained that the C of the Philharmonic Society consists of 506 vibrations or beats in the second. The continental C consists of 520 beats, -as 512 is so nearly the mean between 506 and 520, that its difference can scarcely be detected by the most accurate ear; and as that number affords facilities for subdivision down to unity, it is now becoming extensively adopted as a standard, an improvement which will be appreciated by practical musicians, especially those who occasionally have to do with continental music.
The velocity of sound is not nearly so great as the velocity of light; this may be proved by standing at a distance from a gun when it is fired, the flash may be seen considerably before the report is heard. Sir John Herschell, from the mean of the best experiments, has determined the velocity of sound to be 1125 feet per second, the temperature of the atmosphere being 620 of Fahrenheit's thermometer; by this means the distance or vicinity of a thunder storm may be readily calculated, as we have only to observe the interval between the flash and the report, and allow four seconds and a half for every mile, or 1125 feet per second, and by the same means the distance at which heavy ordinance is being fired may be accurately ascertained ; a difference of temperature will however affect the velocity, as at the temperature of the freezing point, or 32°, the velocity is 35 feet per second less, or 1090 feet per second, but the temperature being known, it is easy to make the necessary allowance.
What an evidence of creative design is here afforded us. How wondrous is the skill of the great artificer, by whom effects so complex and intricate are accomplished by means so simple, yet so universal! Throughout the domain of nature, so far as the limits of our observation can extend, we find one simple and universal mode by which we are rendered accessible to the sensation of sound, and all its important consequences in the economy of our existence. Thus, by the most simple means, effects the most various and diversified are accomplished. By its agency, speech, the power of communicating to our fellow man, the emotions and the passions by which our minds are actuated, is possessed. By its means are we alive to the influence of music-by its means are we aware of the deafening roar of the cataract, the terrible roll of the foaming billow, or the thunder's awful voice. At one moment we listen with delight to the melodies of the feathered choir. Again we tremble at the devastating effects of the whirlwind's furious blast. One moment our senses are ravished and our feelings absorbed in ecstatic delight, by the harmonies from the “ swelling choir.” Again, we tremble as we acknowledge our own impotence, when “the God of glory thundereth," and the very foundations of the earth appear to be riven from their basis by the violence of the concussion. We hang with rapture on the lips of eloquence, while the noblest powers of our souls are aroused, to emulate deeds of philanthropy, of benevolence, and of worth. We tremble as we listen to the hellish enginery of war belching forth its horrors, and our souls are sickened with the thought that one and another of our fellow-beings have by the very act which accompanied its voice been hurled into eternity.
How tremendous is the consideration that we shall have to give an account of the manner in which we have employed this agency; and that, by the exertion of this simple power, results so momentous in the relation of man to man are accomplished results so fearful in his whole history are effected-results so important in the final destiny of created being are completed.
ON INDECISION OF CHARACTER. It is difficult to conceive a more pitiable or contemptible state of existence than that of a man who indolently yields himself a prey to indecision and irresolution. In the ordinary affairs of life, this cast of character constantly subjects its possessor to vexation and trouble, and frequently to misery. Anxiety of mind is its inseparable attendant ; for how can he be at rest who knows not what course of action he will pursue under any given circumstance;—who is unable to say with what habit of mind any event that may happen will invest him—whose will is not under the direction of his judgment;who only progresses, because, by the immutable laws of Nature, he cannot remain totally inert and stationary, and who must necessarily, by this imbecility of mind, become the sport of circumstance, rather than be governed by any fixed principle of action?
Let us imagine a character of this unfortunate cast, possessing a thirst for distinction. If his desire be for political renown, how uncertain, or rather, how impossible is his success! We will suppose that he purposes to ameliorate the condition of mankind, to ennoble his race by plans of philanthropy, and of sound and energetic policy. But his insidious enemy
-indecision, arraying itself in the garb of an angel of light, instils into his mind that “in prudence lieth wisdom.” This sound maxim becomes his bane, this wholesome precept becomes a poisonous fallacy to his wavering understanding. This prudence, (or to give it its proper appellation, this irresolution, will not allow him to decide on any of the manifold plans which his reason suggests, and his time is consequently consumed, and his opportunities of usefulness wasted in idle speculations. He beholds, with vain regret, one, perhaps, of meaner powers, but of a more resolute character, step before him, snatch the proffered advantage from his feeble grasp, and reap the renown which he fondly expected to crown his own exertions. Or, if he have so much resolution, as by an astonishing effort, to determine on a particular course, and actually to commence a career, his evil genius still besets him; and, by throwing in doubts, fears, and misgivings, entirely paralyses his efforts, and prevents his success.
If his predilection be towards the paths of literary fame, his irresolution presents an insuperable barrier to his advancement ; for how can the man who is incapable of arriving at a fixed determination, presume to instruct others? In commerce he is equally unfortunate : while he is endeavouring to persuade himself that an opportunity of aggrandizement which occurs is such as he may prudently embrace, the time for action passes away, and he remains still the anxious and self-accusing prey of indecision.
This distressing frame of mind induces inconsistency, and too frequently depravity of character, inasmuch as it weakens the mental stamina. Like the sand upon the sea-shore, to which each wave gives a different impress, the irresolute man is at the mercy of the world, which gives a different bias to his mind, as ambition, selfishness, philanthropy, or folly, touches its chords. Surely he, of all others, may exclaim, in reference to this mental debility, that “ he knows not what a day may bring forth.” In the concerns of religion, such a character is inconceivably unhappy. Whilst afraid to plunge into the vortex of the world's gratifications and pleasures, yet too imbecile to conform his actions to that which both his judgment and his conscience tell him to be the only path to peace and