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historical writing, to which, perhaps, the reading of Gibbon's autobiography contributed not a little. I proposed to make myself a historian in the best sense of the term, and hoped to Thou tossing main, whose snaky branches wreathe produce something which posterity This pensile orb with int.rlW'sted gyres; j ^ ^ ^ ^ r memorandl.
In air, in floods, in caverns, woods, and plains,
Blue crystal vault and elemental fires
Mountains, whose radiant spires
willingly let die. In a memorandum book, as far back as the year 1819,1 find the desire intimated; and I proposed to devote ten years of my
Smooth meads and lawns, that glow with varying ]ife to 'the ptujv 'f ancient and modem literatures—chiefly the latter—and to give ten years more to some historical work. I have had the good fortune to accomplish this design pretty nearly within the limits assigned. In the Christmas of 1837, my first work, The History of Ferdinand and Isabella, was given to the public.
** During my preliminary studies in the field of general literature, my eyes gradually acquired so much strength, that 1 was enabled to use them many hours of the day. The result of my studies at this time I was in the habit of giving in the form of essays in the public journals, chiefly in the North American, from which a number, quite large enough,have been transferred to a separate volume of miscellanies. Having
Of dew-bespangled leaves and blossoms bright,
Hence !—vanish from my sight—
I say not '• Shield tne Father, from distress,"
settled on a subject for a particular history, I lost no time in collecting the materials, for which I had peculiar advantages. Dut, just before these materials arrived, my eye had experienced so severe a strain, that 1 enjoyed no use of it again for reading for several years. It has, indeed, never since fully recovered its strength, nor have I ever ventured to use it again by candlelight. I well remember the blank despair which I felt when my literary treasures arrived from Spain, and I saw the mine of wealth lying around me, which I was forbidden to explore. I determined to see what could be done with the eyes of another. I remembered that Johnson bad said, in reference to Milton, that the great poet had abandoned his projected history of England, finding it scarcely possible for a man without eyes to pursue a historical work, requiring reference to various authorities. The remark piqued me to make an attempt.
"1 obtained the services of a reader who knew no language but his own. 1 taught him to pronounce the Castilian, in an manner suited, I deprived n.e of the use of it for reading and!SUBpect, much more to my ear than to that of a writing. An injudicious use of the other eye,! Spaniard, and we began our wearisome journey
PRESCOTT, THE HISTORIAN.
The following, is a letter from Prescott, the Historian, to a friend, explaining the origin and extent of the difficulties under which it is well known he has labored in the composition of bis histories. It is, says the Boston Journal, a pleasantly-related tale of a faithful pursuit of knowledge under difficulties
"I suppose you are aware that, when in college, 1 received an injury in one eye, which
on which the burden of my studies was now wholly thrown, brought on a rheumatic inflammation, which deprived me entirely of sight for some weeks. W tien this was restored, the eye remained in too irritable a state to be employed in reading for several years. I consequently abandoned the study of the law, upon which 1 had entered; and, as a man must find something to do, I determined to devote myself to letters, in which independent career I could regulate my own habits with reference to what my sight might enable me to accomplish.
"I had early conceived a strong passion for
through Mariana's noble history. I cannot even now call to mind, without a smile, the tedious hours in which, seated under some old trees in my country residence, we pursued our slow and melancholy way over pages which afforded no glimmering of light to him, and from which the light came dimly struggling to me through a half-intelligible vocabulary, but in a few weeks the light became stronger, and 1 was cheered by the consciousness of my own improvement; and when we had toiled our way through scveu quartos, I found I could understand the book, when read, about two-thirds as faet as ordinary
English. My reader's office required the more patience; he had not even this result to cheer him in his labor.
"I now felt that the great difficulty could be overcome; and I obtained the services of a reader whose acquaintance with modern and ancient tongues supplied, as far as it could be supplied, the deficiency of eyesight on my part. But, though in this way I could examine various authorities, it was not easy to arrange in my mind the results of my reading, drawn from different and often contradictory accounts. To do this, I dictated copious notes as I went along; and when I had read enough for a chapter— from thirty to forty, and sometimes fifty pages in length—I had a mass of memoranda in my own language, which would easily bring before me, at one view, the fruits of my researches. These notes were carefully read to me; and while my recent studies were fresh in my recollection, I ran over the whole of ray intended chapter in my mind. This process I repeated at least half a dozen times, so that when I finally put my pen to paper, it ran off pretty glibly, for it was an effort of memory rather than creation. This method had the advantage of saving me from the perplexity of frequently referring to the scattered passages in the originals, and it enabled me to make the corrections in my own mind which are usually made in the manuscript, and which, with my mode of writing—as I shall explain— would luive much embarrassed me. Yet I must admit that this method of composition, when the chapter was very long, was somewhat too heavy a strain on the memory to be altogether recommended.
"Wriling presented me a difficulty even greater than reading. Thierry, the famous blind historian of tbe Norman Conquest, advised me to cultivate dictation; but I have usually preferred a substitue that I found in a writiug-case made for the hlind, which I procured in London forty years since. It is a simple apparatus, often described by me, for the benefit of persons whose vision is imperfect. It consists of a frame of the size of a sheet of paper, traversed by brass wires, as many as lines are wanted on the page, and with a sheet of carbonated paper, such as is used for getting duplicates, pasted on the reverse side. With an ivory or agate stylus the writer traces his characters between the wires on the carbonated sheet, making indelible marks, which he cannot see, on the white page below. This treadmill operation has its defects; and I have repeatedly supposed I had accomplished a good page, and was proceeding in all the glow of composition to go ahead, when I found I had forgotten to insert a sheet of my writing-paper below; that my labor had all been thrown away, and that the leaf looked as blank as myself. Notwithstanding these and other whimsical distresses of the kind, I have found
my writing-case my best friend in my lonely hours, and with it have written nearly all that I have sent into the world the last forty years.
"The manuscript thus written and deciphered—for it was in the nature of hieroglyphics— by my secretary, was then read to me for correction, and copied off in a fair hand for the printer. All this, it may be thought, was rather a slow process, requiring the virtue of patience in all the parties concerned. But in time my eyes improved again. Before I had finished 'Ferdinand and Isabella' I could use them some hours every day. And thus they have continued till within a few years, though subject to occasional interruptions, sometimes of weeks, and sometimes of months, when I could not look at a book. And this circumstance, as well as habit —second nature—has led me to adhere still to my early method of composition. Of late years I have suffered, not so much from inability of the eye as dimness of the vision, and the warning comes that the time is not far distant when I must rely exclusively on the eyes of another for the prosecution of my studies. Perhaps it should be received as a warning that it is time to close them altogether."
Though it may at first seem a little out of place, let us anticipate here, for the sake of the illustration which it affords, one of the sections of the other great division of our subject— that which treats of the fossil animals. Let us run briefly over the geological history of insects, in order that we may mark the peculiar light which it casts on the characer of the ancient floras. No insects have yet been detected in the Silurian or Old Red Sandstone Systems. They first appeared amid the hard, dry, flowerless vegetation of the Coal Measures, and in general suited to its character. Among these the scorpions take a prominent place—carnivorous arachnids of ill repute, that live under stones and fallen trunks, and seize fast with their nippers upon the creatures on which they prey, crustaceans, usually, such as tbe wood-louse; or insects, such as the earth-beetles and their grubs. With the scorpions there occur cockroaches of types not at all unlike the existing ones, and that, judging from their appearance, must have been foul feeders, to which scarce anything could have come amiss as food. Books, manuscripts, leather, ink, oil, meat, even the bodies of the dead, are devoured indiscriminately by the recent Blatta gigantea of the warmer parts of the globe—one of the most disagreeable pests of the European Bettler, or of war vessels on foreign stations. I have among my books an age-embrowned copy of Ramsay's "Tea Table Miscellany," that had been carried into foreign parts by a musical relation, after it had seen hard service at home,
and had become smoke dried and black; and yet even it, though but little tempting, as might be thought, was not safe from the cockroaches; for, finding it left open one day, they ate out in half an hour half its table of contents, consisting of several leaves. Assuredly, if the ancient Blattx were as little nice in their eating as the devourers of the " Tea Table Miscellany," they would not have lacked food amid even the unproductive flora and meager fauna of the Coal Measures. With these ancient cockroaches a few locusts and beetles have been found associated together with a small Tinea—a creature allied to the common clothes-moth, and a Phasmia—a creature related to the spectre insects. But the group is an inconsiderable one ; for insects seem to have occupied no very conspicuous place in the carboniferous fauna. The beetles appear to have been of the wood and seed devouring kinds, and would probably have found their food among the conifers; the Pkasmidse and grasshopper would have lived on the tender shoots of the less rigid plants, their cotemporaries; the Tinea, probably on ligneous or cottony 6bre. Not a single insect has the system yet produced of the now numerous kinds that seek their food among flowers. In the Oolitic ages, however, insects become gTeatly more numerous—so numerous that they seem to have formed almost exclusively the food of the earliest mammals, and apparently also of some of the flying reptiles of the time. The magnificent dragon-flies, the carnivorous tyrants of their race, were abundant; and we now know that while they were, as their name indicates, dragons to the weaker insects, they themselves were devoured by dragons as truly such as were ever yet feigned by romancer of the middle ages. Ants were also common, with crickets, grasshoppers, bugs both of land and water, beetles, two-winged flies, and, in species distinct from the preceding carboniferous ones, the disgusting cockroaches. And for the first time amid the remains of a flora that seems to have had its few flowers—though flowers oould have formed no conspicuous feature in even an Oolitic landscape—we detect, in a few broken fragments of the wings of butterflies, decided trace of the flower-sucking insects. Not, however, until we enter into the great Tertiary division do these become numerous. The first bee makes its appearance in the amber of the Eocene, locked up hermetically in its gem-like tomb—an embalmed corpse in a crystal coffin— along with fragments of flower-bearing herbs and trees. The first of the Bombycidse too—insects that may be seen suspended over flowers by the scarce visible vibrations of their wings, sucking the honied juices by means of their long, slender trunks—also appear in the amber, associated with moths, butterflies, and a few caterpillars. Bees and butterflies are present in increased proportions in the latter Tertiary deposits; but
not until that terminal creation to which we ourselves belong was ushered on the scene did they receive their fullest development. There is exquisite poetry in Wordsworth's reference to " the soft murmur of the vagrant bee,"
"A slender sound, yet hoary Time
Doth to the soul exalt it with the chime
And yet, mayhap, the naked scientific facts of
"Thus in their stations lifting toward the sky
Testimony of the Rocks.
THB LAST NEW COMET.
The Boston Advertiser has received information from the Observatory at Cambridge, Mass., to the effect that the new comet discovered on the 22d of August, by Mr. Tuttle, at the Observatory, will doubtless be visible to the naked eye as soon as the moon ceases to rise until a late hour in the evening. On the evening of the 1st inst. it was see^ in the viciuity of the stars Aloor and Mizar,..rapidly traversing the
constellation of Ursa Major, and is now entering the constellation of Canes Venatici, moving in the direction of Arcturus.
Review of the Weather, &c, for Tentii month.
do. "the whole or nearly the' •lay,
Cloudy without storms
Snow, . i
Average mean temperature of the month 55.58
Highest Temp, occurring during di
Amount of rain falling ""
Deaths in Philada. for the Four current
weeks of the month last year, and Five current weeks tor the^re«en( .
The average uuuan temperature of the month under review, for the past sixty-eight years has been 54.o0 dcg. The Highest during that period, (1793, 04 deg., and the Lowest, (1827) 46 deg.
From the above it will be seen, that the temperature of the month the present year has exceeded the average of 68 years by only about a degree and au half, while the uniformity of temperature (as to "Mean," "Highest," and "Lowest,") with last year is worthy of notice.
The quantity of rain that has fallen during the two Fall months thus far is less than that of last year, viz. 1856, Ninth and Tenth months combined, 5 '29 inches, 1857 ditto. 3.79 inches.
Tha deaths, tuking the proportion of weeks, eighty-'wo less.
Philada. 10th mo. 7th, 1857. J. M. E.
infotr»ation apply to Lippincott & Parry, corner of Market and Second Streets, Philadelphia.
10th mo. \1th, 1857.—4t.
(chesterfield Boarding School For J YOUNG MEN AND BOYS.—The Winter session of this Institution will commence on the 16th of 11th month 1857, and continue twenty weeks.
Terms—$70 persession, one half payable inadvance, the other in the middle of the session.
No extra charges. For further information address HENRY W. R1DGWAY, Crosswicks P. O., Burlington Co., N. J. 10th mo. 3—3 m.
BOARDING SCHOOL FOR GIRLS, near theCheltou Hills Station, on the North Pennsylvania Railroad.
Gayner Heocock will open a school 12th mo. 7th, and continue 16 weeks, where the usual branches of an English education will be taught, and every attention paid to the health and comfort of the children.
Terms $40. No extra charges. Books furnished at the usual prices.
Address JOSEPH HEACOCK,
Jenkintown P. O., Montgomery Co., Penna.
9 mo. 26—8 t.
Thou oughtest to be diligent in the pursuit of such things as are needful for the body ; yet not to afflict thyself with the anguish of cares and fears, and such like passions; but quietly put the issue of thy labois into God's hands, and patiently expect what he will bless them with.
Flour Akd Meal.—Their is a limited inquiry for Flour Sales to retailers and bakers, for fresh ground at $5 31 a $5 50 per bbl., and fancy brands 1 from $6j up to $7. Rye Flour is held at $4 25 per bbl. Nothing doing in Corn Meal.
Grain.—The receipts of Wheat continue light,' with a slightly increased demand for it. Southern red is held at $1 25 a $1 26, and $1 30 a $1 35 for good white; only a few samples were sold. Rye sells at 75 c. Corn is dull, with sales of yellow at 70 a 71 cents. Delaware oats are in fair supply at 32, and | Penna. at 33 a 35 cents per bnshel.
Clovekseed.— The demand hts fallen off, with sales at 4 50 a 4 75 per 64 lbs. Timothy is bringing but $2 per bushel. Of Flaxseed the market is bare, and it is wanted at $1 40 cents per bushel.
GREEN LAWN SEMINARY is situated near Union-Ville, Chester County, Pa., nine miles south west of West Chester, and sixteen north west from Wilmington; daily stages to and from the latter' and tri-weekly from the former place. The winter term will commence on the 2d of 11th mo. next, and continue twenty weeks. The course of instruction embraces all the usual branches, comprising a thorough English Education, Drawing included. Terms: $57, including Board, Washing, Tuition, use of Books, Pens, Ink and Lights. The French, Latin and Greek Languages taught at $5 each, extra, by experienced and competent teachers, one a native of New Hampshire, and a graduate of a popular College in that State, whose qualifications have gained her a place amongst the highest rank of teachers. The house is lame, and in every way calculated to secure health and comfort to thirty-five or forty pupils. For Circulars, address—
EDITH B. CHALFANT, Principal. [Tnion-Ville, P. O., Chester County, Pa. 9th mo. 5th, 1857.—8 t.
LONDON GROVE BOARDING SCHOOL FOR YOUNG MEN AND BOYS. It is intended to commence the next Session of this Institution on the 2d of 11th mo., 1857. Terms: f65 for twenty weeks. For reference and further particulars, inquire for circulars of BF.NJ. SWAYNE, Principal. London Grove, P. O., Chester County, Pa.
ELDRIDGE HILL BOARDING SCHOOL.—The Winter session (for the education of young men and boys) of this Institution, will open on the 9th of 11th mo., and continue 20 weeks.
The branches of a liberal English education are thoroughly taught by the most approved methods of teaching founded on experience.
Also the elements of the Latin and French languages. Terms, $70 per session.
Those wishing to enter will please make early application.
For lull particulars address the Principal for > circular.
Eldridge Hill, Salem County N. .1. 8 mo. 29, 1857 — 8 w.
PHILADELPHIA, ELEVENTH MONTH 14, 1857.
EDITED BY AN ASSOCIATION OF FRIENDS-
Every Seventh day at Two Dollars per annum, payahlt in advance. Three copies sent to one address for Five Dollars.
Communications must be addressed to the Publisher free of expense, to whom all payments are to be made.
EXTRACTS FROM THE LIFE OF MARY DUDLEY. (Continued from page 531.)
An Jlddress to the French Prisoners at Kinsale.
"The love of the gospel having lately engaged me to pay a religious visit to Kirjsale, where, by the sorrowful effects of that spirit which causeth wars in the earth, you have been cast into prison, I found my mind drawn towards you, my dear brethren.
"Your situation claims the sympathy and attention of those who, as they feel tbe influence of divine love, are enabled to administer spiritual encouragement to others. Your present circumstances are extremely affecting; you are detained from your friends, and your native land: amongst strangers and exposed to many difficulties.
"Yet when we consider the kindness of that good Providence, without whose sacred permission not a hair of our head falleth to the ground; when we recollect that He is omnipresent, watching continually over His creature man in every situation in life, there is surely encouragement for each of us to trust in Him, as a very present help in every time of need, as well as a refuge and strength in the day of trouble.
"My dear brethren, you may find Him in the prison as readily as if you were at liberty j He is with the poor as well as the rich; for His abode is with the children of men. His temple is the human heart,.and it is therein that the only altar is placed on which acceptable sacrifice is offered to Him.
"No outward obstruction need hinder us from finding Him an unfailing helper; and as we turn the attention of our minds immediately to Him, He proves Himself all-sufficient for us. Oh! how do 1 wish that every one of you may happily experience this to be the case. A few years since, 1 paid a religious visit to some parts of France, and I have comfort in believing, that
there are many in that country who are in search of that which alone is permanently good: and being convinced that all the teachings and doctrines of men fall short of procuring it for them, they have enquired, as some formerly did of the Messiah, ' Where (liveliest thou?' May all such wait for and accept the gracious answer, 'Come and see.'
"Be assured dei.r prisoners, that as this invitation is followed, it will lead into liberty and enlargement from that state of thraldom wherein the human mind is bound with oppressive chains. By submitting to the Lord's call, we are converted from darkness to light, and from the power of satan unto God. He causes us to feel that it is sin and corruption which separate us from Him; and, if we faithfully attend to the guidance of His Holy Spirit, we come to experience the bonds thereof to be broken in us, and know an introduction into the glorious liberty of (lis children.
"Here is a privilege attainable even in your outward prison, where you massing to the Lord a new song, because He doth marvellous things in and for you. The great enelly uses every means to hinder this work, and to chain the mind in the dungeon of transgression, and plunge it deeper into sin and sorrow. He tempts the unwary (especially in stations like yours) to seek a temporary relief in things which divert from inward reflection: the tossed mind flics to one false refuge after another, which does not afford the rest it seeks; but lead gradually into a captivity that is, at length, lamentably confirmed, and the enemy gets full possession of the fortress of the heart. Whereas, had there been attention given to the captain of the soul's salvation, and obedienco yielded to His commands, the subtle adversary would have been repelled in all his attacks, and prevented from obtaining the dominion. Ah '. my dear friends, I want yon to be enlisted under the glorious banner of Christ Jesus. I want you to be well disciplined in the use of those weapons which are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pidling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalleth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
"Under the impressions of divine love, a current of which I feel to flow towards you, I invite you to Him who reveals Himself in the secret